Aims: This study was undertaken to examine how a layperson is likely to interpret genetic information delivered in a clinical setting. Methods: A novel survey was designed to engage the reader in a simulated discussion of heritability as it might relate to human disease. The survey took approximately 5 min to administer. 307 individuals of different backgrounds completed the survey in the outpatient waiting room on their cell phone. Results: Overall, basic knowledge of inheritance and the concepts of heredity scored very well in the study cohort. Both knowledge and interpretation questions were answered correctly more often than not. There was generally no association between the scores on survey and gender or age. Conclusions: People recognize the basic concepts of heritability but struggle with real-life interpretations and more nuanced concepts of heredity.

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