179366 Family Communication about Lung Cancer in Families with a History of the Disease: Does it Increase Prevention Behavior?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 8:54 AM

Heather Orom, PhD , Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI
Felicity W. K. Harper, PhD , Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI
Terrance L. Albrecht, PhD , Karmanos Cancer Institute, Family Medicine/WSU School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
Alicia Salkowski, MS , Population Sciences, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI
Ann G. Schwartz, PhD, MPH , Population Sciences, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, MI
Background: Lung Cancer (LCa), the deadliest cancer in the U.S., kills over 160,000 Americans each year. A family history of LCa is associated with a 2-3 fold increase in risk for the disease. Reducing LCa mortality in this at-risk population would reduce the overall burden of cancer. Purpose: In a sample of adults with a family history of LCa, we investigated whether more extensive communication about family history of LCa was associated with greater perceived risk for LCa, and greater likelihood of engaging in primary and secondary LCa prevention. Significance: There has been considerable discussion about the potential for family history and genetic risk information to motivate disease prevention, but thus far, few empirical reports have investigated family processes that could promote prevention in at-risk families. Methods: Participants (46) with a family history of LCa were interviewed about family communication about LCa, perceived risk for developing LCa, and the extent to which they engage in LCa-related risk reduction behaviors. Results: Some family members communicated less about LCa than others (e.g., non-smokers, men, second-degree relatives). Participants who communicated more extensively about family history of LCa perceived themselves at greater risk for the disease and were more likely to have sought and undergone LCa screening (e.g., Spiral CT) (ps < .05). Conclusions: Family communication is a viable means of encouraging LCa prevention. At-risk families might take on a larger role in the fight against LCa if messages/interventions encouraged discussion of both family history of LCa and risk reduction behaviors.

Learning Objectives:
Describe why family communication has the potential to increase prevention behavior in families who share increased risk for a disease. Understand and describe a family process that may increase prevention in families who are at greater risk for lung cancer due to having a family history of the disease. Identify factors that influence whether family members communicate about family history of lung cancer and lung cancer prevention.

Keywords: Cancer Prevention, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Orom, H., Coté, M. L., González, H., M., Underwood, III, W., & Schwartz, A. G. (2008). Family History of Cancer: Is it an Accurate Indicator of Cancer Risk in the Immigrant Population? Cancer, 112, 399-406.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.