Testing a web-based survey is one of the most detested activities to many in the survey research business. And there are enough different methods to fill a book! Here are seven of the best tips to better web-based survey testing practices for your next study. You’re welcome 🙂
ICYMI: Seven tips for effective web-based survey testing
Currently, the FDA only regulates true direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests, which have no health care provider involved either before or after testing. Consumer-initiated, physician-mediated genetic tests are considered lab developed tests (LDTs), which currently do not require FDA oversight.
Our Study Design
Our study was designed to simulate the experience of an everyday person who is considering doing a health-related genetic test. For this reason, we only reviewed website contents presented to a consumer before ordering a test. By limiting our data collection to pre-test content, instead of digging around or contacting the companies to fill in missing data points, gaps in public-facing information that consumers use to make ‘informed’ decisions were revealed.
Also, while a genetic counselor supervised the project, a research assistant (RA) conducted most of the website investigations. The RA was familiar enough with genetics and genetic testing to understand and identify the information presented on the websites, but has not had the clinical exposure that might create bias from knowing how specific tests work “behind-the-scenes”.
To Sum Up
We set out to understand the landscape of health-related consumer genomics testing from the public perspective. By limiting our research (by design) to public-facing pre-test website content, we could not complete our data collection as set out in the protocol. However, this uncovered an important observation: consumer genomics websites are highly variable in content, readability and ease of use.
This begs the question, if we can’t find basic test information on a consumer genomics website, how does a consumer have enough information to make an informed choice about testing?
Stay tuned for Part 2 in this series, where we will dig into our study findings and reveal our most interesting observations.