Awareness of family health history in a predominantly young adult population.
Family health history (FHH) is a key predictor of health risk and is universally important in preventive care. However, patients may not be aware of the importance of FHH, and thus, may fail to accurately or completely share FHH with health providers, thereby limiting its utility. In this study, we conducted an online survey of 294 young adults and employees based at a US university setting regarding their knowledge, sharing behaviors, and perceived importance of FHH, and use of electronic clinical tools to document and update FHH. We also evaluated two educational interventions (written and video) to promote knowledge about FHH and its importance to health. We found that 93% of respondents were highly aware of their FHH, though only 39% reported collecting it and 4% using an online FHH tool. Seventy-three percent of respondents, particularly women, had shared FHH with their doctor when prompted, and fewer had shared it with family members. Participants in the video group were significantly more likely to understand the benefits of FHH than those in the written group (p = 0.02). In summary, educational resources, either video or written, will be helpful to promote FHH collection, sharing, and use of online FHH tools.
Madhavan, S; Bullis, E; Myers, R; Zhou, CJ; Cai, EM; Sharma, A; Bhatia, S; Orlando, LA; Haga, SB
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