259310 Rebooting Family History

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Deborah Smith, DNP, ARNP , Department of Nursing, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
Mary Quinn Griffin, PhD, RN , Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Joyce Fitzpatrick, PhD, RN, FAAN , Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Background Heart disease, the primary cause of mortality in America, affects one in five individuals. Heart disease has strong genetic links and is significantly influenced by family history. Aim This study explored family history of premature heart disease, examining the differences between patients' perceptions of risk and actual risk stratification, in overweight and obese individuals seeking Advanced Practice Nurse care. Methods The descriptive, cross-sectional study involved a convenience sample of 175 subjects at least 40 years of age. Respondents indicated their risk of premature heart disease, following completion of a family history questionnaire. They were then risk stratified by Scheuner's( 1997) scale of genetic risk. Results The majority of respondents (62.4%) rated their risk of premature heart disease, based on family history, as only average or moderate, but 54.5% were classified as high risk using risk stratification. Of those respondents whose actual risk was high, a third perceived their risk to be moderate, and a quarter considered their risk to be only average. Conclusions The significant underestimation of risk [p<.004] suggests that people fail to understand the important relationship between family history and premature heart disease. Advanced Practice Nurses can play a critical role in interpreting, translating, and framing familial risk. Underestimation of familial risk accounts for a significant portion of CVD risk. Genetic susceptibility is not health destiny. Interpretation of familial risk provides the perfect segway to individualizing and informing preventive strategies, potentially impacting individual and family health.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the significance of underestimating risk conferred by family history for premature heart disease. 2. Identify strategies for individualizing and personalizing prevention strategies based on family history risk factors for heart disease.

Keywords: Health Assessment, Genetics

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the primary reseacher regarding perceptions of risk verus actual risk of heart disease, part of my DNP work @ Case Western Reserve Unversity, chair Mary T. Quin Griffin RN, PhD. I am a Doctor of Nursing Practice, ARNP in primary care practice and teaching @ Gonzaga Unversity with a long time interest in "mining" family history to predict strengths and vulnerablities, so as to individualize and tailor health promotion and disease prevention.
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.