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.
- Family history
- Health information seeking
- Provider-patient communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas