Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 84–96 | Cite as

Primary Care Providers’ Responses to Patient-Generated Family History

  • Melissa Fuller
  • Melanie Myers
  • Thomas Webb
  • Meredith Tabangin
  • Cynthia Prows
Original Research


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.


Primary care providers Family health history Computer-generated tools Risk assessment 


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Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melissa Fuller
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Melanie Myers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thomas Webb
    • 4
  • Meredith Tabangin
    • 5
  • Cynthia Prows
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Allied HealthUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Division of Human GeneticsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.Division of Patient ServicesCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Division of Developmental & Behavioral PediatricsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  5. 5.Center for Epidemiology and BiostatisticsCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsSt. Louis UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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