, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 84-96
Date: 24 Oct 2009

Primary Care Providers’ Responses to Patient-Generated Family History

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Family health history is one of the best predictors of an individual’s risk for common disease, yet it is underutilized in routine care. Although the Surgeon General has recommended consumers record their family health history and share it with their health care provider, providers’ perceptions of patient-generated family histories are unknown. To learn more about providers’ experience with and perceptions about patient-generated family histories, we mailed surveys to 301 providers and had a response rate of 24% (n = 68). Seventy-three percent felt a patient-generated computer pedigree would improve their ability to assess risk as compared to their current methods. Seventy percent felt a patient-generated computer pedigree would either have no effect on or would increase the number of patients that could be seen in a day. Results suggest that providers appreciate the potential benefits of patient-generated family histories. Genetic counselors and nurses are in a prime position to promote and facilitate the use of patient-generated family health histories in routine care.