A cluster randomised controlled trial of vascular risk factor management in general practice

Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia. .
The Medical journal of Australia (Impact Factor: 4.09). 10/2012; 197(7):387-93. DOI: 10.5694/mja12.10313
Source: PubMed


To evaluate the impact of a lifestyle intervention in Australian general practice to reduce the risk of vascular disease.
Stratified cluster randomised controlled trial among 30 general practices in New South Wales from July 2008 to January 2010. Patients aged 40-64 years were invited to participate. The subgroup who were 40-55 years of age were included only if they had either hypertension or dyslipidaemia.
A general practice-based health-check with brief lifestyle counselling and referral of high-risk patients to a program consisting of one to two individual visits with an exercise physiologist or dietitian, and six group sessions.
Outcomes at baseline, 6 and 12 months included the behavioural and physiological risk factors for vascular disease - self-reported diet and physical activity, and measured weight, body mass index, waist circumference, blood lipid and blood sugar levels, and blood pressure.
Of the 3128 patients who were invited, 958 patients (30.6%) responded and 814 were eligible to participate. Of these, 699 commenced the study, and 655 remained in the study at 12 months. Physical activity levels increased to a greater extent in the intervention group than the control group at 6 and 12 months (P = 0.005). There were no other changes in behavioural or physiological outcomes or in estimated absolute risk of cardiovascular disease at 12 months. Of the 384 enrolled in the intervention group, 117 patients (30.5%) attended the minimum number of group program sessions and lost more weight (mean weight loss, 1.06 kg) than those who did not attend the minimum number of sessions (mean weight gain, 0.73 kg).
While patients who received counselling by their general practitioner increased self-reported physical activity, only those who attended the group sessions sustained an improvement in weight. However, more research is needed to determine whether group programs offer significant benefits over individual counselling in general practice.
Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000423415.

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Available from: Heike Schutze, Oct 07, 2015
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    • "The brief intervention was modeled on the 5As framework (ask, assess, advise, assist and arrange) [12]. Patients were referred to the lifestyle modification program if they were found to be at high risk [8]. Sixty-three percent of the 301 eligible patients were referred to the program [13]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Screening for vascular disease, risk assessment and management are encouraged in general practice however there is limited evidence about the emotional impact on patients. The Health Improvement and Prevention Study evaluated the impact of a general practice-based vascular risk factor intervention on behavioural and physiological risk factors in 30 Australian practices. The primary aim of this analysis is to investigate the psychological impact of participating in the intervention arm of the trial. The secondary aim is to identify the mediating effects of changes in behavioural risk factors or BMI. This study is an analysis of a secondary outcome from a cluster randomized controlled trial. Patients, aged 40-65 years, were randomly selected from practice records. Those with pre-existing cardiovascular disease were excluded. Socio-demographic details, behavioural risk factors and psychological distress were measured at baseline and 12 months. The Kessler Psychological Distress Score (K10) was the outcome measure for multi-level, multivariable analysis and a product-of-coefficient test to assess the mediating effects of behaviour change. Baseline data were available 384 participants in the intervention group and 315 in the control group. Twelve month data were available for 355 in the intervention group and 300 in the control group. The K10 score of patients in the intervention group (14.78, SD 5.74) was lower at 12 months compared to the control group (15.97, SD 6.30). K10 at 12 months was significantly associated with the score at baseline and being unable to work but not with age, gender, change in behavioural risk factors or change in BMI. The reduction of K10 in the intervention group demonstrates that a general practice based intervention to identify and manage vascular risk factors did not adversely impact on the psychological distress of the participants. The impact of the intervention on distress was not mediated by a change in the behavioural risk factors or BMI, suggesting that there must be other mediators that might explain the positive impact of the intervention on emotional wellbeing.Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12607000423415.
    BMC Family Practice 12/2013; 14(1):190. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-14-190 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    • "General practitioners (GPs) in Australia are encouraged to discuss lifestyle behaviours with patients [13]. Structured general practice based interventions addressing lifestyle behaviours and other vascular risk factors have been demonstrated to be feasible and effective [14-16]. However there are few studies that also examine their impact on patient’s psychological health. "
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    ABSTRACT: The process of initiating and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours is complex, includes a number of distinct phases and is not static. Theoretical models of behaviour change consider psychological constructs such as intention and self efficacy but do not clearly consider the role of stress or psychological distress. General practice based interventions addressing lifestyle behaviours have been demonstrated to be feasible and effective however it is not clear whether general practitioners (GPs) take psychological health into consideration when discussing lifestyle behaviours. This qualitative study explores GPs' and patients' perspectives about the relationship between external stressors, psychological distress and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours. Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with 16 patients and 5 GPs. Transcripts from the interviews were thematically analysed and a conceptual model developed to explain the relationship between external stressors, psychological distress and healthly lifestyle behaviours. Participants were motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle however they described a range of external factors that impacted on behaviour in both positive and negative ways, either directly or via their impact on psychological distress. The impact of external factors was moderated by coping strategies, beliefs, habits and social support. In some cases the process of changing or maintaining healthy behaviour also caused distress. The concept of a threshold level of distress was evident in the data with patients and GPs describing a certain level of distress required before it negatively influenced behaviour. Maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours is complex and constantly under challenge from external stressors. Practitioners can assist patients with maintaining healthy behaviour by providing targeted support to moderate the impact of external stressors.
    BMC Family Practice 11/2013; 14(1):166. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-14-166 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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    • "Dichotomous responses (yes/no) to each of these questions were allowed. These questions were based on questions used and validated in previous studies [2,22]. Thus we examined three measures of clinical assessment: blood pressure (BP), blood cholesterol (BC), and blood glucose (BG); and three types of advice: eat less fatty foods (less fat), eat more fruits and vegetables and undertake more physical activity. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite being at high risk, disadvantaged patients may be less likely to receive preventive care in general practice. This study aimed to explore self-reported preventive care received from general practitioners and the factors associated with this by healthy New South Wales (NSW) residents aged 45–74 years. Methods A self-completed questionnaire was sent to 100,000 NSW residents in the 45 and Up cohort study. There was a 60% response rate. After exclusions there were 39,964 participants aged 45–74 years who did not report cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Dichotomised outcome variables were participant report of having had a clinical assessment of their blood pressure (BP), blood cholesterol (BC) or blood glucose (BG), or received advice to eat less high fat food, eat more fruit and vegetables or be more physically active from their GP in the last 12 months. Independent variables included socio-demographic, lifestyle risk factors, health status, access to health care and confidence in self-management. Results Most respondents reported having had their BP (90.6%), BC (73.9%) or BG (69.4%) assessed. Fewer reported being given health advice to (a)eat less high fat food (26.6%), (b) eat more fruit and vegetables (15.5%) or (c) do more physical activity (19.9%). The patterns of association were consistent with recognised need: participants who were older, less well educated or overweight were more likely to report clinical assessments; participants who were overseas born, of lower educational attainment, less confident in their own self-management, reported insufficient physical activity or were overweight were more likely to report receiving advice. However current smokers were less likely to report clinical assessments; and rural and older participants were less likely to receive diet or physical activity advice. Conclusions This study demonstrated a gap between reported clinical assessments and preventive advice. There was evidence for inverse care for rural participants and smokers, who despite being at higher risk of health problems, were less likely to report receiving preventive care. This suggests the need for greater effort to promote preventive care for these groups in Australian general practice.
    BMC Family Practice 06/2013; 14(1):83. DOI:10.1186/1471-2296-14-83 · 1.67 Impact Factor
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