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  1. Dudley-Brown, Sharon PhD, APRN, BC, FNP


Genetic factors influence the risk for disease and the overall health of persons throughout their lifespan. The systematic collection of family history information in a three-generation format is the most important approach for the identification of individuals with a genetic susceptibility to most common diseases, and applying genetic concepts in healthcare. The detailed family history can play a critical role in diagnosis, lay the foundation for accurate risk assessment, and be used to develop subsequent education, individualized monitoring and management of the disease, and prevention measures. The purpose of this article is to familiarize nurses with why, what, how, when, where and for whom a genetic family history assessment should be used in gastroenterology nursing practice. Risk assessment specific to the development and prevention of colorectal cancer will be described.