268442 Health promotion through family health history at federally-funded health centers

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Vaughn Edelson , Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC
Susan Foster, MSSW, MPH , S.E. Foster Associates, Lexington, MA
Alaina Harris, MSW, MPH , MCHB/DSCSHN/Genetic Services Branch, Heath Resources and Services Administration, Rockville, MD
Emily Jones, MPP, PhD , Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
James O'Leary , Genetic Alliance, Washington, DC
Teresa Doksum, PhD , Doksum Consulting, Stoneham, MA
BACKGROUND: Risk assessment based on family health history (FHH) allows providers to personalize and prioritize health messages, shifts the focus of healthcare from treatment to prevention, and can empower individuals and families to be stewards of their own health. However, FHH is inconsistently collected in healthcare settings. To address this, six federally-funded health centers across the U.S. are customizing the Does It Run in the Family? patient education toolkit for diverse populations to improve FHH awareness and discussion among health center providers, staff, and patients. METHODS: 73 staff and providers (including nurses, medical assistants, health educators, physicians) were trained on FHH and genetics. The evaluation uses pre/post surveys and consumer and provider interviews to assess knowledge, comfort with genetics information, and trends in FHH practice in the clinic. RESULTS: Comparison of pre/post training survey data show that self-reported understanding in how to initiate discussions with patients about FHH improved (from 60% to 92% reporting “understanding well”) as did confidence in discussing FHH risk factors with patients (from 70% to 94% reporting feeling “confident”). During interviews, providers and staff noted the potential of this project to improve the quality and consistency of practice across providers, enhance relationships at the center, and contribute to moving the center toward a medical home model. CONCLUSION: A patient FHH toolkit and provider training on FHH can empower patients and providers to collect more comprehensive FHH and work collaboratively toward a preventive, rather than reactive, healthcare practice.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the role of family health history in facilitating dialogue between providers and patients 2. Discuss the importance of family health history as a health intervention. 3. Describe the effectiveness of strategies to customize and integrate FHH into clinical settings with diverse patients.

Keywords: Health Centers, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been managing family health history and genetics programs focused on educating and engaging healthcare providers, communities, organizations, and families for five years. I have participated on various committees and symposia related to health and genetics education and literacy.
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.