Factors affecting frequency of communication about family health history with family members and doctors in a medically underserved population

Kimberly A. Kaphingst, Melody Goodman, Chintan Pandya, Priyanka Garg, Jewel Stafford, Christina Lachance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: Family history contributes to risk for many common chronic diseases. Little research has investigated patient factors affecting communication of this information. Methods: 1061 adult community health center patients were surveyed. We examined factors related to frequency of discussions about family health history (FHH) with family members and doctors. Results: Patients who talked frequently with family members about FHH were more likely to report a family history of cancer (p=.012) and heart disease (p<.001), seek health information frequently in newspapers (p<.001) and in general (p<.001), and be female (p<.001). Patients who talked frequently with doctors about FHH were more likely to report a family history of heart disease (p=.011), meet physical activity recommendations (p=.022), seek health information frequently in newspapers (p<.001) and in general (p<.001), be female (p<.001), and not have experienced racial discrimination in healthcare (p<.001). Conclusion: Patients with a family history of some diseases, those not meeting physical activity recommendations, and those who do not frequently seek health information may not have ongoing FHH discussions. Practice implications: Interventions are needed to encourage providers to update patients' family histories systematically and assist patients in initiating FHH conversations in order to use this information for disease prevention and control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume88
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • Family history
  • Health information seeking
  • Provider-patient communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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