Utilization of the family genogram in the prediction of generational spread of hypertension among patients attending the GOPC of UCTH, Calabar
Gyuse AN, Ndebbio UJ, Adat P, Udonwa NE
Background: Hypertension is one of the most important treatable causes of morbidity and mortality that runs in families. It is documented that families share risk, similarities in lifestyle, environment, diet, financial supplies, ability to cope with illness and generational implications with familial traits of illness. The Family Medical genogram is the best general tool for assessing a patient’s risk for inheritable conditions or conditions that run in the family because it can identify potential familial and genetic vulnerabilities of diseases and lifestyle influences. This study used the Family genogram to determine the generational spread of hypertension as a basis for instituting prevention and health promotive strategies in the at-risk family members
Methodology: This was a hospital-based cross-sectional study of 216 hypertensive patients attending the GOPC of the UCTH Calabar who met the inclusion criteria and gave consent. All the respondents had a 24-item questionnaire administered to them which included the socio-demographic characteristics, a positive family history and other related information. Those with a positive family history of Hypertension had their family medical genograms constructed using GenoPro 2011 software. The data collected was analysed using SPSS version 18.0 and results were expressed in frequency tables and charts.
Results: There were more females 150 (69.4%) than males 66 (30.6%). Majority of the patients (201, 93%) were above 40 years of age while the rest were younger. Majority of the respondents were farmers, traders and artisans (126, 59.1%) and others civil servants (88, 40.7%) with most having secondary education and below. A family history of hypertension was noted in 58 (27%) of the respondents of which majority (30, 52%) had a two generational spread, followed by those with a one generational spread (15, 26%) and the rest over three generations. Most respondents had poor recall of the details of family members’ hypertensive history, progression and outcomes
Conclusion: Family history and medical genogram can be a very useful family tool in the management of hypertensives with the determination of generational spread in the affected families. It will help in contextualizing the care of these patients to their families with health promotion and prevention activities in their at-risk relatives. Consequently, primary care physicians in the frontline must become comfortable in the use of these very important tool.