Objective: To describe a self-administered preventive tool dealing with risk factors for cardiovascular disease and its effect with special reference to the question: did the project involve persons most in need of lifestyle changes?
Design: Screening questions offered to consecutive patients and followed by a self-administered health profile, intervention, and follow-up. Setting. Primary healthcare area of Askim, Sweden.
Subjects: Men and women between 18 and 65 years of age visiting GPs for acute disorders or planned visits during a three-month period were offered screening questions and, if wanted, a health profile.
Main outcome measures: Participation rates, effects on lifestyle factors.
Results: There was an overrepresentation of subjects with a less favourable lifestyle among those who asked for the health profile. There was good agreement for all variables between self-estimation in screening questions and grading in the basal health profile. Lifestyle improvement was observed for dietary habits, physical activity, and mental stress at the one year follow-up.
Conclusions: The results indicate that a relevant selection of persons with a "risk profile" can be made by means of simple screening questions. The pedagogic model using self-administered health profile in combination with own responsibility seems to be a tool for low-budget preventive work in primary healthcare.