As numerous new gene tests are introduced into clinical practice, patients have a growing need for accurate and comprehensive information about the risks and benefits of gene testing. However, in the changing healthcare environment, it is not clear who will provide such information because genetic counselors are scarce and their services are not widely utilized, and primary care providers lack time and expertise in genetics. Interactive computers may help fill the information gap. We review a variety of educational modalities for providing patient education and argue that interactive computers have potential advantages over other educational methods for providing information and promoting informed consent to genetic testing. Finally, some questions for further research are raised.
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