To assess the potential effectiveness of communicating familial risk of diabetes on illness perceptions and self-reported behavioral outcomes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Individuals with a family history of diabetes were randomized to receive risk information based on familial and general risk factors (n = 59) or general risk factors alone (n = 59). Outcomes were assessed using questionnaires at baseline, 1 week, and 3 months.
Compared with individuals receiving general risk information, those receiving familial risk information perceived heredity to be a more important cause of diabetes (P < 0.01) at 1-week follow-up, perceived greater control over preventing diabetes (P < 0.05), and reported having eaten more healthily (P = 0.01) after 3 months. Behavioral intentions did not differ between the groups.
Communicating familial risk increased personal control and, thus, did not result in fatalism. Although the intervention did not influence intentions to change behavior, there was some evidence to suggest it increases healthy behavior.