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Risk Communication Within Mexican-American Families

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: May 3, 2007
Last updated: April 20, 2017
Last verified: August 9, 2016

This study will examine what methods work best for encouraging Mexican-American family members to talk about their risk for diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and colon cancer. Within the Mexican-American community, the family culture provides an important setting in which individuals interpret and share their health information and formulate strategies to engage in health-promoting behaviors. The information from the study will be used to design risk communication approaches for Mexican-American households.

Members of households with at least three adults 18 to 70 years of age who are part of the existing Mexican-American households recruited by the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center may be eligible for this study.

Participants are interviewed about their medical history, family history of disease, health behaviors, beliefs about disease and disease risk, experiences living in the United States, and relationships with family members and close friends. They are then provided information about their family risk for diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and colon cancer, based on the information they provided in the interview. Two additional interviews are conducted over the telephone that include questions about how the participants communicate with family members about their risk and health behaviors.

Condition Intervention
Colon Cancer
Cardiovascular Disease
Behavioral: Family Health History

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: The Role of Family History and Culture in Communal Coping Within Mexican-American Families

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Family Communication about Risk

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Illness representations, Cooperative strategies to screen and adopt healthy behaviors

Estimated Enrollment: 560
Study Start Date: April 27, 2007
Study Completion Date: December 13, 2010
Primary Completion Date: December 13, 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:
The current project aims to understand the mechanisms underlying communications about familial risk for common, complex diseases and the development of strategies by Mexican American families to address this risk. For the Mexican American community, the family culture provides an important setting within which individuals will interpret their health information, share health information, and formulate strategies to engage in health promoting behaviors. This family culture can be defined by the family social structure, the degree of acculturation represented by household members, as well as socio-economic factors. Participants for the current project will be recruited from an ongoing population-based cohort of Mexican American households initiated by the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (UTMDACC). At least three adults, two of which are biological relatives, living within the same residence from 160 multigenerational Mexican American households will participate in this study. Medical risk information (feedback) will be provided to participants based upon family history information that they provide about four complex diseases: diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and colon cancer. The feedback will be randomized in two ways varying who within the family is provided the feedback (Receiver of the Feedback) and what information is provided (Content of Feedback). The data will allow us to examine whether the family-centered feedback approach (where all participating family members receive feedback), rather than the individual-focused feedback approach (where only one participating family member receives feedback), encourages communications regarding disease risk among family members. The medical risk feedback will also be randomized as to whether they receive disease risk information only (predisposing risk feedback) or disease risk information coupled with personalized recommendations for behavior change to reduce risks (predisposing plus enabling feedback). These data will allow us to examine the impact of the content of risk feedback based on the CDC s family health history tool Family Healthware on beliefs concerning the underlying causes and controllability of common diseases. Cross comparisons between the data obtained from who receives the medical risk information and the content of that information will help in understanding the role of beliefs about disease and communication about family risk for disease in the development of shared perceptions of risk and strategies to adopt health promoting behaviors within the family. The role of the familial and cultural context in the communication and strategy development process will also be investigated.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 70 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
  • Member household of existing population-based cohort of Mexican-American households recruited by the Department of Epidemiology at UTMDACC. The existing population based cohort consists of self-identified Mexican-Americans living in predominantly Mexican-American neighborhoods in the Houston area. All individuals in the cohort are 18 years of age or older and had to be able to complete a personal interview.
  • Household includes at least three adults (18 to 70 years of age) who are willing to participate in the study, where at least two of the household participants are related biologically and represent differing generations, and additionally in which one household participant is a spouse or partner of another household participant.
  • Ability for each participating household member to complete one in-home survey instrument via computerized assessment tool or personal interview and to complete two telephone interviews.
  • Ability of all household participants to speak either English or Spanish.


More than two household members are unable to complete the baseline questionnaire using a computerized assessment tool.

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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00469339

United States, Maryland
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Principal Investigator: Laura M. Koehly, Ph.D. National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
  More Information

Publications: Identifier: NCT00469339     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 999907140
Study First Received: May 3, 2007
Last Updated: April 20, 2017

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Colon Cancer
Cardiovascular Disease

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiovascular Diseases
Colonic Neoplasms
Colorectal Neoplasms
Intestinal Neoplasms
Gastrointestinal Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Digestive System Diseases
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Colonic Diseases
Intestinal Diseases processed this record on April 27, 2017