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A Family History Demonstration Project Among Women in an Urban Appalachian Community


Background: Family health history (FHH) is promoted to consumers by the Surgeon General as a tool to improve health and prevent disease. However, few FHH resources exist for medically underserved populations such as the urban Appalachian community in Southwest Ohio.

Objectives: To engage and educate urban Appalachian women about the importance and collection of their own FHH.

Methods: Researchers partnered with six community organizations to develop a model Family History Demonstration Project. Focus groups were held with urban Appalachian women to determine how they would like to learn about their FHH. Resources and an educational intervention were developed based on focus group findings with input from the academic and community partners. Participants in the project recorded their family history and evaluated the education sessions and materials.

Results: Eleven fact sheets and four educational presentations were developed based on feedback from the target community. One hundred women participated in two family history education sessions. Learning objectives for both education sessions were met. All participants recorded their family history electronically or on paper and 91% of participants found the first education session (ES1) very helpful at teaching the importance of FHH.

Conclusions: Community organizations and university researchers partnered to develop a model Family History Demonstration Project with input from community members. Evaluations of the project were positive. Future efforts should focus on sustainable dissemination of the educational programs and resulting health outcomes.

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