Chinese Americans' Views and Use of Family Health History: A Qualitative Study. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Family health history (FHH) plays a significant role in early disease detection and prevention. Although Asian Americans are the fastest growing U.S. immigrant group, no data exists regarding Chinese Americans' (the largest Asian subgroup) views and use of FHH. This study examines this important issue. METHODS: Forty-nine adults from southern U.S. Chinese American communities participated in this qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interview study. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed with a content analysis approach. RESULTS: Although the majority of participants perceived the importance of collecting FHH, most lacked FHH knowledge and failed to collect FHH information. Barriers affecting FHH collection and discussion among family members included long-distance separation from family members, self-defined "healthy family," and Chinese cultural beliefs. Lack of doctors' inquiries, never/rarely visiting physicians, self-defined "healthy family," perceived insignificance of discussing FHH with doctors, and Chinese cultural beliefs were the obstacles in communicating FHH with physicians. CONCLUSIONS: Chinese Americans had limited usage of their FHH and faced cultural, distance, knowledge-, and healthcare system-related barriers that influenced their FHH use. Developing FHH education programs for Chinese Americans is highly recommended.

published proceedings

  • PLoS One

altmetric score

  • 9.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, L., Li, M., Talwar, D., Xu, L., & Zhao, M.

citation count

  • 16

editor list (cited editors)

  • Wang, C.

publication date

  • January 2016