Attitudes toward preventive services and lifestyle: the views of primary care patients in Europe. the EUROPREVIEW patient study

Fam Pract. 2012 Apr;29 Suppl 1:i168-i176. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmr102.

Abstract

Background: For preventive interventions in general practice to succeed, patients' points of view must be taken into account in addition to those of GPs.

Objective: To explore patients' views and beliefs about the importance of lifestyle and preventive interventions, to assess their readiness to make changes to their lifestyle and their willingness to receive support from GPs.

Methods: Cross-sectional survey conducted by EUROPREV in primary care practices in 22 European countries. Patients were consecutively selected and interviewed from September 2008 to September 2009.

Results: Seven thousand nine hundred and forty-seven participants, 52.2% females. Only 30.5% of risky drinkers think they need to change, as opposed to 64% of smokers, 73.5% of patients with unhealthy eating habits and 73% with lack of physical activity. Risky drinkers reported that GPs initiated a discussion on alcohol consumption less often (42%) than on smoking (63%), eating habits (59%) or physical activity (55%). Seventy-five per cent, 66% and 63% of patients without hypertension, diabetes or hypercholesterolaemia, respectively, think blood pressure, blood sugar and serum cholesterol should be checked yearly. Women (80%) think they should be screened with the cervical smear test and 72.8% of women aged 30-49 years with mammography, yearly or every 2 years.

Conclusions: A high proportion of patients attending primary care with unhealthy lifestyles (especially risky drinkers) do not perceive the need to change their habits, and about half the patients reported not having had any discussion on healthy lifestyles with their GPs. Patients overestimate their need to be screened for cardiovascular risk factors and for cancer.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Counseling
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe
  • Female
  • General Practitioners
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Physician's Role
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Preventive Health Services*
  • Primary Health Care