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Genet Med. 2000 May-Jun;2(3):180-5.

Family history-taking in community family practice: implications for genetic screening.

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Department of Family Medicine, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio 44106-5036, USA.



To identify characteristics of physicians, patients, and visits associated with obtaining family history information in community family practice.


Research nurses directly observed 4,454 patient visits to 138 family physicians and reviewed office medical records.


Family history was discussed during 51% of visits by new patients and 22% of visits by established patients. Physicians' rates of family history-taking varied from 0% to 81% of visits. Family history was more often discussed at well care rather than illness visits. The average duration of family history discussions was <2.5 minutes.


These data can form the basis for realistic interventions to increase the use of family history in primary care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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