Objectives: This review was conducted to determine the effectiveness of different interventions to improve the delivery of preventive services in primary care.
Methods: MEDLINE searches and manual searches of 21 scientific journals and the Cochrane Effective Professional and Organization of Care of trials were used to identify relevant studies. Randomized controlled trials and controlled before-and-after studies were included if they focused on interventions designed to improve preventive activities by primary care clinicians. Two researchers independently assessed the quality of the studies and extracted data for use in constructing descriptive overviews.
Results: The 58 studies included comprised 86 comparisons between intervention and control groups. Postintervention differences between intervention and control groups varied widely within and across categories of interventions. Most interventions were found to be effective in some studies, but not effective in other studies.
Conclusions: Effective interventions to increase preventive activities in primary care are available. Detailed studies are needed to identify factors that influence the effectiveness of different interventions.