Scholarship of Discovery
Health care professionals agree that family health histories help detect and prevent diseases that run in families, but few Americans have taken the time to discover and utilize their family health histories. Young adults, such as college students, are generally healthy and forming habits for lifelong health. This project seeks to promote the importance of compiling individual family health histories among college students to be used to assess risk factors and methods of early prevention for genetically influenced disease processes.
First, the project acknowledges a lack of preparedness and family health history awareness among college aged students as they become responsible for their own health care needs. It also acknowledges that health services and course curricula for many small universities are not providing adequate opportunities or information for students to thoroughly explore their family medical history. Secondly, the project explores the benefits and purpose of patients having access to their family health history and applying preventative measures to one’s health and wellness. Benefits provided include early detection, disease prevention or prolonging the onset of disease as a result of consistent lifestyle changes. Finally, the study addressed and provided information about specific risk assessment tools, common screening tests, and self examinations that may not be taught in detail in required wellness courses at Olivet Nazarene University. Information was compiled, and an interactive educational presentation was developed and performed. Additionally, brochures to guide note taking, a worksheet tool to assist in development of a family health history, and a practice case study were created and offered to freshman students.
After completion of the education session, students in attendance completed an evaluation regarding the likelihood that they would create a family health history, analyze the history to identify trends, and implement lifestyle changes to prevent disease. Results from 3 students showed that the majority of students indicated that they would create a history, analyze for trends, and implement lifestyle changes. After evaluation, that outcomes and goals for the educational program were successfully met and completed.
Waltz, Rachel C., "A Comprehensive Initiative Promoting Family Health History Development and Utilization Among Students At Olivet Nazarene University" (2012). Honors Program Projects. 28.