There will be one required project for the course, which is worth 150 points. Each student will conduct medical and mental health histories for at least 10 family members. At minimum, each student must interview, in person, at least 2 blood relatives (usually parents or grandparents). Health histories of other distant or deceased relatives can be obtained from these sources. The health history must include the following information: relationship to student (no names please), gender, age, date of birth, date of death (if applicable), cause of death (if applicable), significant medical history, significant psychiatric history, and relevant psycho social factors. This information will then be used to identify illness trends within the family and determine the student’s relative risk of developing a particular disease or disorder. The health histories and individual risk assessment should include biological, psychological, psychosocial, and behavioral factors. Based on the individual risk profile, you will develop an action plan to improve your health and minimize disease risk. Information from reliable outside sources should be incorporated into the risk assessment and action plan. These sources MUST include at least 5 scientific references (peer reviewed journal articles, scientific book chapters, etc.) per illness, but may also include RELIABLE popular news sources, such as newspapers, magazines, and websites. Students DO NOT need to actually implement the action plan to complete the assignment, but they must design a thorough, specific, well-reasoned, and realistic plan. The purpose of this assignment is multi-fold:
1) It will increase your knowledge about your family health history and make you more aware of your current and future health risks
2) It will force you to critically evaluate information regarding health and illness and
3) it will allow you to formulate a plan to improve your health and decrease your risk of illness that you may or may not choose to implement on your own. Grading for the assignment will be divided into 4 categories: Quality of health histories – 25 points; Quality of health trend identification and risk assessment – 50 points; Quality of action plan – 50 points; Presentation, spelling, grammar, clarity of thought, etc. – 25 points.