In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Community-Centered Family Health History: A Customized Approach to Increased Health Communication and Awareness
  • James O’Leary, Vaughn Edelson, Nicora Gardner, MSW , Alejandra Gepp, MA , Panelpha Kyler, ScD , Penelope Moore, DSW, MSW , Claudia Petruccio, PhD , Marc Williams, MD , Sharon Terry, MA , and Deborah Bowen, PhD

What Is the Purpose of This Study?

To determine whether the Does It Run In the Family? toolkit encourages discussion and collection of family health history information.

What Is the Problem?

  • • The majority of people in the United States believe that knowing their family health history is important for their health, but only one third have ever collected it.

  • • There has been little study of whether family health history tools used by individuals, families, and communities inspire measurable changes in communication and in behavior.

What Are the Findings?

  • • From pre- to post-Does It Run In the Family? toolkit use, family members showed increases in:

  • • Communicating about family history of disease risk, and

  • • Awareness about family history.

  • • Fewer people reported having no knowledge of family history after the intervention and more individuals reported that family history was important to their health.

  • • Participants reported that the toolkit was useful, and that the booklets in the toolkit applied to the family, were relevant to the family, and helped the family.

Who Should Care Most?

  • • Community-based organizations interested in health promotion

  • • Health care providers

Recommendations for Action

  • • Engage community members and incorporate their input when adapting tools used to gather family health history for particular communities.

  • • Promote family health history collection and discussion outside the primary care setting by integrating family health history into ongoing programs and initiatives.

  • • Incorporate family health history as a unifying theme in public health messaging.

  • • Combine family health history with other health interventions for a comprehensive, accessible approach. [End Page 109]

James O’Leary
Genetic Alliance
Vaughn Edelson
Genetic Alliance
Nicora Gardner
National Psoriasis Foundation
Alejandra Gepp
National Council of La Raza
Panelpha Kyler
Health Resources and Services Administration
Penelope Moore
Iona College
Claudia Petruccio
Institute for Cultural Partnerships
Marc Williams
Intermountain Healthcare
Sharon Terry
Genetic Alliance
Deborah Bowen
Boston University


Additional Information

Print ISSN
p. 109
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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