5078.0 It's all relative: Collecting and using family history information for improving health (Organized jointly by the Genomics Forum and Public Health Education and Health Promotion)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010: 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Family history is increasingly being recognized as a critical factor in chronic disease prevention. Major national initiatives have been launched to encourage individuals to collect their family history and share the information with their providers. However, much research is needed to investigate individuals’ beliefs about family history, the understandability of current family history tools, and whether this information changes disease prevention practices. The research presented in this session will address these issues. The first study will discuss user feedback on seven family health history tools from African American and Latinos. The presentation will describe both quantitative and qualitative results, highlighting individuals’ overall positive ratings of the tools as well as possible reasons for variability across tools. The second presentation will describe a study conducted among 161 multi-generational Mexican American families to examine whether family history-based risk assessments and resulting behavioral recommendations affect disease prevention behaviors. The significant effects of family history-based risk assessments on dietary and physical activity behaviors will be discussed. Moving into the health care setting, the third presentation will describe the use of a family history screening tool within primary care and oncology clinics to identify patients at risk for hereditary cancer. The results presented here will demonstrate the potential effectiveness of this screening approach, as well as possible barriers. The fourth presentation will then look at the relationship between family history and downstream health outcomes and examine whether fatalistic health beliefs contribute to the association between family history and coronary heart disease incidence in a large population-based sample. The results will describe the role of fatalistic health beliefs as a mediator, showing that family history should not be viewed as an unmodifiable risk factor. Finally, the fifth presentation will investigate the family health history behaviors of college students and their associated perceptions of chronic disease. The findings will describe beliefs about genetic versus behavioral causation of chronic disease, and behaviors related to the collection of family health history information. Together, these papers will present some of the many ways in which family history information can impact population health.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe beliefs about family history in three different populations. 2. Discuss individuals’ reactions to current approaches to collecting family history information. 3. Describe two potential uses of family history risk assessments in different settings.

Family health history tools for public health prevention: Preferences among African Americans and Latinos in the community
Catharine Wang, PhD, MSc, Rachel E. Gallo, BS, Gwendolyn A. Smith, RN, MS/MBA, Julie Cousler Emig, MSW, Rosalyn Beene-Harris, MPH, Linda Fleisher, MPH and Suzanne M. Miller, PhD
College students perceived risk for chronic health conditions: Associations of discussing family health history with genetic and behavioral factors
Erica T. Sosa, PhD, Matthew Lee Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, E. Lisako J. McKyer, PhD, MPH and Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Public Health Education and Health Promotion
Endorsed by: Social Work, Genomics Forum

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)