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Studies validate use of family health history as gold standard in disease risk assessment
Date:11/5/2010

ys. The study participants were given a printed copy of their family history pedigree that was based on the data that they entered into the online SG-FHH tool. They were then asked to participate in a brief, semi-structured interview to assess their intentions of how they are planning on using their FHH information. The participants were also asked to fill out a survey that assessed drivers of satisfaction (i.e., content, functionality, look and feel, navigation, and performance) in using the SG-FHH online tool.

The results of this study indicate that all 35 participants found the online tool to be very useful. About 67% of the participants said that they have easy access to a computer or the Internet and demonstrated their ability to complete all FHH forms. Most of the participants (88%) viewed the functionality, look and feel, navigation, and performance of the SG-FHH tool favorably. However, content analysis of the semi-structured interviews indicated that there are several barriers to veterans' use of FHH information, including their lack of knowledge regarding the importance of familial risks in developing chronic diseases, and privacy and confidentiality concerns related to entering their personal data into an online database.

Overall, this study provided a positive assessment of the performance and functionality of an inexpensive and widely-accessible method for collection and documentation of FHH information that can be integrated into clinical practice to help practitioners determine which patients are in need of more rigorous early disease screening, genetic testing, and/or special preventive measures and therapies. The study findings also highlight several opportunities and challenges related to the utilization of FHH information as a clinical and genomic tool.

"Our work makes a substantial contribution to the ongoing efforts directed toward the integration and translation of genomic research findings into clinical practice,"
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Contact: Kristen Long
klong@ashg.org
301-634-7346
American Society of Human Genetics
Source:Eurekalert

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