Genetic screening is the process of testing a population for a genetic disease in order to identify a subgroup of people that either have the disease or the potential to pass it on to their offspring.
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Genetic screening is really a term that's used to help us identify a smaller group of people from a large population. And this smaller group of people really actually might have a higher risk of either having a disease, developing that disease, or potentially having children who may have that disease as well. So I want to differentiate genetic screening from the term "genetic testing". Genetic testing is focused on an individual; genetic screening is really focused on a whole population of people, trying to identify those specifically who are [at] increased risk to develop it or to have children with a condition in question or the condition being screened for.
Donald W. Hadley, M.S., C.G.C.
Associate Investigator, Social and Behavioral Research Branch, Public Health Genomics Section; Associate Director, Office of Clinical Liaison, Office of the Clinical Director
Mr. Hadley is a genetic counselor and a clinical researcher. As a genetic counselor, he provides education and counseling for people participating in NIH clinical protocols who have or at risk for inherited diseases. As a researcher, he evaluates methods for educating and counseling families with genetic conditions. His research is performed within the Public Health Genomics Section. Mr. Hadley strives to understand the psychological and behavioral outcomes of the counseling and testing process. His clinical role gives him insight into concerns of families considering genetic testing and the issues they deal with following their decisions.