Impact of family history assessment on communication with family members and health care providers: A report from the Family Healthware™ Impact Trial (FHITr)

Family Healthware™ Impact Trial (FHITr) Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines the impact of Family Healthware™ on communication behaviors; specifically, communication with family members and health care providers about family health history. Methods: A total of 3786 participants were enrolled in the Family Healthware™ Impact Trial (FHITr) in the United States from 2005-7. The trial employed a two-arm cluster-randomized design, with primary care practices serving as the unit of randomization. Using generalized estimating equations (GEE), analyses focused on communication behaviors at 6. month follow-up, adjusting for age, site and practice clustering. Results: A significant interaction was observed between study arm and baseline communication status for the family communication outcomes (p's. <. .01), indicating that intervention had effects of different magnitude between those already communicating at baseline and those who were not.Among participants who were not communicating at baseline, intervention participants had higher odds of communicating with family members about family history risk (OR. =. 1.24, p. =. 0.042) and actively collecting family history information at follow-up (OR. =. 2.67, p. =. 0.026). Family Healthware™ did not have a significant effect on family communication among those already communicating at baseline, or on provider communication, regardless of baseline communication status. Greater communication was observed among those at increased familial risk for a greater number of diseases. Conclusion: Family Healthware™ prompted more communication about family history with family members, among those who were not previously communicating. Efforts are needed to identify approaches to encourage greater sharing of family history information, particularly with health care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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