Implementation of health risk assessments with family health history: barriers and benefits.
Health risk assessments provide an opportunity to emphasise health promotion and disease prevention for individuals and populations at large. A key component of health risk assessments is the detailed collection of family health history information. This information is helpful in determining risk both for common chronic conditions and more rare diseases as well. While the concept of health risk assessments has been around since the Framingham Heart Study was launched in the 1950s, and such assessments are commonly performed in the workplace today, the US healthcare system has been slow to embrace them and the emphasis on prevention that they represent. Before wider implementation of health risk assessments within healthcare can be seen, several concerns must be addressed: (1) provider impact, (2) patient impact, (3) validity of patient-entered data and (4) health outcomes effect. Here, we describe recent developments in health risk assessment design that are helping to address these issues.
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