1. What are some of the advantages of home health care testing?
    • allows individuals to monitor a disease that has already been detected, e.g. monitoring glucose levels in diabetic patients
    • allows consumers to detect certain conditions in the privacy of their own homes
    • allows consumers to get instant results, e.g. you’re the first to know you’re pregnant
    • quick access to the kits and instant results avoid delays such as having to wait for appointments
    • modern test kits are inexpensive and easy to use
  2. What are some of the limitations of a home test kit?
    • many of the tests include a lancet, a simple device to help you obtain a blood sample (typically, 1 or 2 drops from a finger tip). This is easy and comparatively painless (a quick ‘pin-prick’), but some people can be a little squeamish
    • people may be embarrassed to disclose their test results, but a positive test must be followed up with your GP
    • instructions with the test kits must be followed closely. Important factors can include cleanliness (e.g. sugar on hands can affect a diabetes test), what time of day you perform the test, how long the sample has to stay in contact with the diagnostic test, and a clear understanding of the test results
    • don’t be put off by the thickness of some of the instruction leaflets – some kits are manufactured for international distribution and have their instructions in several languages. Look for the English section – instructions are concise, clear and usually only run to 1-2 pages
  3. Can home test kits take the place of my GP?

    Definitely not! Home testing is one more way we can help ourselves in the management of our healthcare. But a positive home test must be followed up with a visit to your GP. Even with a negative result, physical symptoms must always take priority over a test result – if you are feeling unwell and exhibiting symptoms, do make an appointment with your GP.

  4. Where can I get more information on the test and the meaning of a positive result?

    Your GP should be your first port of call. In addition, the Support Links section of this web site gives direct access to a wide variety of specialist organisations and support groups, offering medical expertise and guidance.