Implementation-effectiveness trial of systematic family health history based risk assessment and impact on clinical disease prevention and surveillance activities




Wu, R. Ryanne
Myers, Rachel A.
Neuner, Joan
McCarty, Catherine
Haller, Irina V.
Harry, Melissa
Fulda, Kimberly G.
Dimmock, David
Rakhra-Burris, Tejinder
Buchanan, Adam


0000-0002-5096-2983 (Fulda, Kimberly G.)

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BioMed Central Ltd.


BACKGROUND: Systematically assessing disease risk can improve population health by identifying those eligible for enhanced prevention/screening strategies. This study aims to determine the clinical impact of a systematic risk assessment in diverse primary care populations. METHODS: Hybrid implementation-effectiveness trial of a family health history-based health risk assessment (HRA) tied to risk-based guideline recommendations enrolling from 2014-2017 with 12 months of post-intervention survey data and 24 months of electronic medical record (EMR) data capture. SETTING: 19 primary care clinics at four geographically and culturally diverse U.S. healthcare systems. PARTICIPANTS: any English or Spanish-speaking adult with an upcoming appointment at an enrolling clinic. METHODS: A personal and family health history based HRA with integrated guideline-based clinical decision support (CDS) was completed by each participant prior to their appointment. Risk reports were provided to patients and providers to discuss at their clinical encounter. OUTCOMES: provider and patient discussion and provider uptake (i.e. ordering) and patient uptake (i.e. recommendation completion) of CDS recommendations. MEASURES: patient and provider surveys and EMR data. RESULTS: One thousand eight hundred twenty nine participants (mean age 56.2 [SD13.9], 69.6% female) completed the HRA and had EMR data available for analysis. 762 (41.6%) received a recommendation (29.7% for genetic counseling (GC); 15.2% for enhanced breast/colon cancer screening). Those with recommendations frequently discussed disease risk with their provider (8.7%-38.2% varied by recommendation, p-values </= 0.004). In the GC subgroup, provider discussions increased referrals to counseling (44.4% with vs. 5.9% without, P < 0.001). Recommendation uptake was highest for colon cancer screening (provider = 67.9%; patient = 86.8%) and lowest for breast cancer chemoprevention (0%). CONCLUSIONS: Systematic health risk assessment revealed that almost half the population were at increased disease risk based on guidelines. Risk identification resulted in shared discussions between participants and providers but variable clinical action uptake depending upon the recommendation. Understanding the barriers and facilitators to uptake by both patients and providers will be essential for optimizing HRA tools and achieving their promise of improving population health. TRIAL REGISTRATION: number NCT01956773 , registered 10/8/2013.



Wu, R. R., Myers, R. A., Neuner, J., McCarty, C., Haller, I. V., Harry, M., Fulda, K. G., Dimmock, D., Rakhra-Burris, T., Buchanan, A., Ginsburg, G. S., & Orlando, L. A. (2022). Implementation-effectiveness trial of systematic family health history based risk assessment and impact on clinical disease prevention and surveillance activities. BMC health services research, 22(1), 1486.


© The Author(s) 2022.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)