ERIC Number: EJ1019801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Family Health History Communication Networks of Older Adults: Importance of Social Relationships and Disease Perceptions
Ashida, Sato; Kaphingst, Kimberly A.; Goodman, Melody; Schafer, Ellen J.
Health Education & Behavior, v40 n5 p612-619 Oct 2013
Older individuals play a critical role in disseminating family health history (FHH) information that can facilitate disease prevention among younger family members. This study evaluated the characteristics of older adults and their familial networks associated with two types of communication ("have shared" and "intend to share new" FHH information with family members) to inform public health efforts to facilitate FHH dissemination. Information on 970 social network members enumerated by 99 seniors (aged 57 years and older) at 3 senior centers in Memphis, Tennessee, through face-to-face interviews was analyzed. Participants shared FHH information with 27.5% of the network members; 54.7% of children and 24.4% of siblings. Two-level logistic regression models showed that participants had shared FHH with those to whom they provided emotional support (odds ratio [OR] = 1.836) and felt close to (OR = 1.757). Network-members were more likely to have received FHH from participants with a cancer diagnosis (OR = 2.617) and higher familiarity with (OR = 1.380) and importance of sharing FHH with family (OR = 1.474). Participants intended to share new FHH with those who provide tangible support to (OR = 1.804) and were very close to them (OR = 2.112). Members with whom participants intend to share new FHH were more likely to belong to the network of participants with higher perceived severity if family members encountered heart disease (OR = 1.329). Many first-degree relatives were not informed of FHH. Perceptions about FHH and disease risk as well as quality of social relationships may play roles in whether seniors communicate FHH with their families. Future studies may consider influencing these perceptions and relationships.
Descriptors: Health, Older Adults, Regression (Statistics), Diseases, Prevention, Family (Sociological Unit), Information Dissemination, Public Health, Social Networks, Interviews, Family Relationship, Cancer, Clinical Diagnosis, Heart Disorders, Risk, Role, Interpersonal Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee