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Strengthen the Evidence for Maternal and Child Health Programs

Family Health History

Professional Resource Brief


CDC Family Health History Resources & Tools
Online family history tools and guidelines developed for the general public, including downloadable forms and questionnaires, Web-based information-collection systems and guidelines on compiling a family health history.

Genetic Alliance: Family Health History
Does It Run in the Family booklets in English and Spanish on family health history and understanding genetics and health, public service announcements, and additional resources. The first booklet is also available in Chinese. The Community Centered Family Health History program helps health organizations customize the booklets for different audiences, and over 20 sets are posted on the Web site for general use.

March of Dimes Pregnancy and Newborn Health Education Center: Your Family History
Information on gathering a family health history, a preconception/prenatal family health questionnaire, and links to information about a variety of genetic conditions.

MedlinePlus: Family History
Overviews, news, publications, research findings, clinical trials, and links to related information and organizations.

National Institutes of Health (NIH), State-of-the-Science Conference: Family History & Improving Health
Consensus statement assessing the state of knowledge on the role of family history in the practice of medicine, including the key elements of family history, its accuracy, the evidence that getting a family history improves outcomes or has adverse outcomes, the factors that encourage or discourage getting a family history, and future research directions. The conference webcast is also available.

National Library of Medicine (NLM), Genetics Home Reference Handbook
Page on the importance of family health history with links to additional information.

U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative
Public health campaign on the importance of family health history, with public service announcements, demonstration projects, and online tools and resources. Also includes My Family Health Portrait, a Web-based tool to help users organize family-history information and then print it out for the family health professional. In addition, the tool helps users save their family history information to their own computer.

Additional Resources from the MCH Digital Library

Authors: Beth DeFrancis Sun, M.L.S.; Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Digital Library
May 2009. Reviewed July 2012

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.