Background: The potential of primary care practice settings to prevent disease and morbidity through health habit counseling, screening for asymptomatic disease, and immunizations has been incompletely met. This study was designed to test a practice-tailored approach to increasing preventive service delivery with particular emphasis on health habit counseling.
Design: Group randomized clinical trial and multimethod process assessment.
Setting/participants: Seventy-seven community family practices in northeast Ohio.
Intervention: After a 1-day practice assessment, a nurse facilitator met with practice clinicians and staff and assisted them with choosing and implementing individualized tools and approaches aimed at increasing preventive service delivery.
Main outcome measure: Summary scores of the health habit counseling, screening and immunization services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force up to date for consecutive patients during randomly selected chart review days.
Results: A significant increase (p=0.015) in global preventive service delivery rates at the 1-year follow-up was found in the intervention group (31% to 42%) compared to the control group (35% to 37%). Rates specifically for health habit counseling (p=0.007) and screening services (p=0.048) were increased, but not for immunizations.
Conclusions: An approach to increasing preventive service delivery that is individualized to meet particular practice needs can increase global preventive service delivery rates.