208778 Brief educational intervention to increase knowledge of family health history and prevention

Monday, November 9, 2009

Janice L. Hastrup, PhD, MS , Dept. of Psychology, University at Buffalo (SUNY), Amherst, NY
Mauricio Carvallo, PhD , Psychology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
Laura M. Anderson, PhD , Psychology Dept., East Carolina University, Greenville, NC
Jessica J. Englert, PhD, MA , Dept. of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School (DHMC), Lebanon, NH
K. Michael Cummings, PhD MPH , Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Brief educational segments on health topics are commonly used in television newscasts. A series of five 3-minute segments produced by experts in medicine, genetics, public health, and marketing was developed; it was condensed into a 15-minute format for evaluation purposes and a Spanish language version was created. The series, "Is Cancer in My Family Tree," focused on the need for early screening; it was supplemented with a PowerPoint presentation emphasizing the usefulness of preventive behaviors whether a family health history is present or absent.


Evaluate the use of the "Is Cancer in My Family Tree?" video with supplementary prevention information, and assess the impact on likelihood of keeping written family health information.


Ninety families containing a 15- to 17-year-old adolescent and one to three additional household members attended a 75-minute session either at the University at Buffalo or in their homes. Families were randomly assigned to either the family health history video and PowerPoint presentation or a control, unrelated presentation on nicotine and tobacco misinformation. Pretests and posttests assessed beliefs about health risks and history of keeping written family health records, as well as tobacco/nicotine misinformation. A long-term follow-up was conducted after two years.


The results showed significant improvement in beliefs about the power of health behavior to reduce both familial and nonfamilial risks for disease. At long-term follow-up, 38% of families reported keeping a written record of their family medical history, compared with 19% in the tobacco/nicotine misinformation group.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the effects of an intervention to increase understanding of the usefulness of preventive behaviors in the presence and absence of a family health history. 2. Evaluate the usefulness of a video/computer presentation in increasing keeping written records of family health information.

Keywords: Health Behavior, Family Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. I have done research in health behavior and interpretation of family health information, and have been involved in the analysis of findings and preparation of the manuscript.
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.