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Genet Med. 2015 Oct;17(10):822-30. doi: 10.1038/gim.2014.198. Epub 2015 Jan 15.

Acceptability and feasibility of a virtual counselor (VICKY) to collect family health histories.

Author information

1
Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
2
Northeastern University College of Computer and Information Science, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
3
Department of Bioethics & Humanities, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.
4
Master of Science Program in Genetic Counseling, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
5
Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
6
Data Coordinating Center, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
7
General Internal Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To overcome literacy-related barriers in the collection of electronic family health histories, we developed an animated Virtual Counselor for Knowing your Family History, or VICKY. This study examined the acceptability and accuracy of using VICKY to collect family histories from underserved patients as compared with My Family Health Portrait (MFHP).

METHODS:

Participants were recruited from a patient registry at a safety net hospital and randomized to use either VICKY or MFHP. Accuracy was determined by comparing tool-collected histories with those obtained by a genetic counselor.

RESULTS:

A total of 70 participants completed this study. Participants rated VICKY as easy to use (91%) and easy to follow (92%), would recommend VICKY to others (83%), and were highly satisfied (77%). VICKY identified 86% of first-degree relatives and 42% of second-degree relatives; combined accuracy was 55%. As compared with MFHP, VICKY identified a greater number of health conditions overall (49% with VICKY vs. 31% with MFHP; incidence rate ratio (IRR): 1.59; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.13-2.25; P = 0.008), in particular, hypertension (47 vs. 15%; IRR: 3.18; 95% CI: 1.66-6.10; P = 0.001) and type 2 diabetes (54 vs. 22%; IRR: 2.47; 95% CI: 1.33-4.60; P = 0.004).

CONCLUSION:

These results demonstrate that technological support for documenting family history risks can be highly accepted, feasible, and effective.

PMID:
25590980
PMCID:
PMC4503525
DOI:
10.1038/gim.2014.198
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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