Family Healthware™ Study
Aims/Outcomes: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded the Center for Medical Genetics with a three year grant to evaluate their predictive software, Family Healthware™. The software evaluates the familial risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon, breast and ovarian cancer. We recruited over 2,000 NorthShore University HealthSystem patients with the cooperation of more than 100 primary care physicians. The study will report the impact that the program’s health messages have on people’s health behaviors and the use of health services.

The initial findings on prevalence of family history for six common diseases in this primary care population were reported by O’Neill and others in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2009. Of the roughly 3500 participants enrolled among the three academic study sites through 41 primary care practices, the great majority (82%) reported a strong or moderate familial risk for at least one of the following diseases: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Knowledge of family-health history can lead to recommendations for reducing risk for common diseases. Analysis of the impact of risk-reducing recommendations and health messages provided by the Family Healthware™ program on people’s health behavior is underway and will be subsequently reported.
Principal Investigator: Wendy Rubinstein, MD, PhD
Open to Enrollment: No
Publications: Wang C, O’Neill SM, Rothrock N, Gramling R, Sen A, Acheson LS, Rubinstein WS, Nease DE, Ruffin MT and the Family Healthware™ Impact Trial (FHITr) group. Comparison of the perceptions and beliefs across common chronic diseases. Preventive Medicine 2009; 48(2):197-202.

O’Neill SM, Rubinstein WS, Wang C, Yoon PW, Acheson LS, Rothrock N, Starzyk EJ, Beaumont JL, Galliher JM, Ruffin MT, for the Family Healthware™ Impact Trial group. Familial risk for common disease in primary care: the Family Healthware™ Impact Trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 36(6): 506-514, 2009.

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