The risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is closely associated with modifiable health behaviour such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, which all follow the social gradient being more prevalent with higher level of disadvantage. Preventive health checks are expected to identify individuals with unhealthy health behavior and to detect diseases and metabolic risk factors for NCDs.
The aim of the intervention is to examine whether a personal invitation to health checks by the general practitioner (GP) can motivate individuals without formal education to change adverse health behaviour.
A randomized controlled trial was carried out in Denmark between 2013 and 2016. Questionnaires with information about socioeconomic factors and health behaviour were sent to patients between the age of 45 and 64 on the participating GP’s patients lists in five batches. Patients who answered the questionnaire and who did not have any education beyond secondary school, were randomized to the intervention group or the control group.
All patients allocated to the intervention group will receive a personal invitation to an appointed health check from their GP. The health check at the GP includes measurement of weight, height, hip and waist circumference, blood pressure, lung function, blood sugar, total cholesterol and thyroidal status. At the health check a follow-up consultation will be scheduled. At the follow-up consultation the results of the health check will be reviewed and the possibility for referral to individually tailored lifestyle change programs will be discussed. For patients with abnormal screens or health behaviour amenable to intervention at the first health check an additional health check will be scheduled six months after the first health check.
After 12 months a follow-up questionnaire is sent to all patients in the intervention group as well as the control group.
Collaboration and funding
The Danish Cancer Society
PLO-Hovedstaden og PLO-København