Increasing uptake of NHS Health Checks: an RCT using GP computer prompts.

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Public Health England wants to increase the uptake of the NHS Health Check (NHSHC), a cardiovascular disease prevention programme. Most invitations are sent by letter, but opportunistic invitations may be issued and verbal invitations have a higher rate of uptake. Prompting staff to issue opportunistic invitations might increase uptake.To assess the effect on uptake of automated prompts to clinical staff to invite patients to NHSHCs, delivered via primary care computer systems.Pseudo-randomised Controlled Trial of patients eligible for the NHSHC attending GP practices in Southwark, London.Eligible patients were allocated into one of two conditions: (1) No Prompt and (2) Prompt to clinical staff. The primary outcome was attendance at an NHSHC.We recruited 15 of 43 (37%) practices in Southwark; 7564 patients were eligible for an NHSHC, 3778 (49.95%) in the control and 3786 (50.05%) in the intervention. Attendance in the intervention arm was 454 (11.99%) compared to 280 (7.41%) in the control group, a total increase of 4.58% (OR = 2.28; 95% CI = 1.46-3.55; p < 0.001). Regressions found an interaction between intervention and sex (OR= 0.65; 95% CI = 0.44-0.86, p = 0.004), with the intervention primarily effective on men. Comparing the probabilities of attendance for each age category across intervention and control suggests that the intervention was primarily effective for younger patients.Prompts on computer systems in general practice were effective at improving the uptake of the NHSHC, especially for men and younger patients.

View the full article @ The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners
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Authors: Natalie Gold, Karen Tan, Joseph Sherlock, Robin Watson, Tim Chadborn