Special Article| Volume 25, ISSUE 3, 100356, March 2023

The PrU: Development and validation of a measure to assess personal utility of genomic results

Published:December 11, 2022DOI:



      People report experiencing value from learning genomic results even in the absence of clinically actionable information. Such personal utility has emerged as a key concept in genomic medicine. The lack of a validated patient-reported outcome measure of personal utility has impeded the ability to assess this concept among those receiving genomic results and evaluate the patient-perceived value of genomics. We aimed to construct and psychometrically evaluate a scale to measure personal utility of genomic results—the Personal Utility (PrU) scale.


      We used an evidence-based, operational definition of personal utility, with data from a systematic literature review and Delphi survey to build a novel scale. After piloting with 24 adults, the PrU was administered to healthy adults in a Clinical Sequencing Evidence-Generating Research Consortium study after receiving results. We investigated the responses using exploratory factor analysis.


      The exploratory factor analysis (N = 841 participants) resulted in a 3-factor solution, accounting for 74% of the variance in items: (1) self-knowledge (α = 0.92), (2) reproductive planning (α = 0.89), and (3) practical benefits (α = 0.91).


      Our findings support the use of the 3-factor PrU to assess personal utility of genomic results. Validation of the PrU in other samples will be important for more wide-spread application.

      Graphical abstract


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