J Health Commun. 2014 Aug 30:1-8. [Epub ahead of print]
Patterns of Family Health History Communication Among Older African American Adults.
This qualitative study examined patterns of communication regarding family health history among older African American adults. The authors conducted 5 focus groups and 6 semi-structured interviews with African Americans aged 60 years and older (N = 28). The authors identified 4 distinct patterns of family health history communication: noncommunication, open communication, selective communication (communication restricted to certain people or topics), and one-way communication (communication not reciprocated by younger family members). In general, participants favored open family health history communication, often resulting from desires to change patterns of noncommunication in previous generations regarding personal and family health history. Some participants indicated that they were selective about what and with whom they shared health information in order to protect their privacy and not worry others. Others described family health history communication as one-way or unreciprocated by younger family members who appeared uninterested or unwilling to share personal and family health information. The communication patterns that the authors identified are consistent with communication privacy management theory and with findings from studies focused on genetic testing results for hereditary conditions, suggesting that individuals are consistent in their communication of health and genetic risk information. Findings may guide the development of health message strategies for African Americans to increase family health history communication.
- [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]