Journal of Genetic Counseling

, Volume 20, Issue 6, pp 639–649

Using a Family History Intervention to Improve Cancer Risk Perception in a Black Community

  • Vinaya S. Murthy
  • Mary A. Garza
  • Donna A. Almario
  • Kristen J. Vogel
  • Robin E. Grubs
  • Elizabeth A. Gettig
  • John W. Wilson
  • Stephen B. Thomas
Original Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10897-011-9389-2

Cite this article as:
Murthy, V.S., Garza, M.A., Almario, D.A. et al. J Genet Counsel (2011) 20: 639. doi:10.1007/s10897-011-9389-2

Abstract

Few studies examine the use of family history to influence risk perceptions in the African American population. This study examined the influence of a family health history (FHH) intervention on risk perceptions for breast (BRCA), colon (CRC), and prostate cancers (PRCA) among African Americans in Pittsburgh, PA. Participants (n = 665) completed pre- and post-surveys and FHHs. We compared their objective and perceived risks, classified as average, moderate, or high, and examined the accuracy of risk perceptions before and after the FHH intervention. The majority of participants had accurate risk perceptions post-FHH. Of those participants who were inaccurate pre-FHH, 43.3%, 43.8%, and 34.5% for BRCA, CRC, and PRCA, respectively, adopted accurate risk perceptions post-FHH intervention. The intervention was successful in a community setting. It has the potential to lead to healthy behavior modifications because participants adopted accurate risk perceptions. We identified a substantial number of at-risk individuals who could benefit from targeted prevention strategies, thus decreasing racial/ethnic cancer disparities.

Keywords

African American Black community Cancer Community-based Family history Risk perception 

Copyright information

© National Society of Genetic Counselors, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vinaya S. Murthy
    • 1
  • Mary A. Garza
    • 2
  • Donna A. Almario
    • 3
  • Kristen J. Vogel
    • 4
  • Robin E. Grubs
    • 5
  • Elizabeth A. Gettig
    • 5
  • John W. Wilson
    • 6
  • Stephen B. Thomas
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of Clinical GeneticsThe Permanente Medical GroupSan JoseUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health Equity, Department of Behavioral and Community HealthUniversity of Maryland School of Public HealthCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.Center for Medical GeneticsNorthShore University HealthSystemEvanstonUSA
  5. 5.Genetic Counseling Program, Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, NSABP Biostatistical CenterUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  7. 7.Center for Health Equity, Department of Health Services AdministrationUniversity of Maryland, School of Public HealthCollege ParkUSA

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