Assessment of Life's Simple 7 in the primary care setting: the Stroke Prevention in Healthcare Delivery EnviRonmEnts (SPHERE) study

Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jul;38(2):182-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2014.03.007. Epub 2014 Apr 8.


Background: Adverse health behaviors and factors predict increased coronary heart disease and stroke risk, and effective use of health information technology (HIT) to automate assessment of and intervention on these factors is needed. A comprehensive, automated cardiovascular health (CVH) assessment deployed in the primary care setting offers the potential to enhance prevention, facilitate patient-provider communication, and ultimately reduce cardiovascular (CV) disease risk. We describe the methods for a study to develop and test an automated CVH application for stroke prevention in older women.

Methods and results: The eligible study population for the Stroke Prevention in Healthcare Delivery EnviRonmEnts (SPHERE) study is approximately 1600 female patients aged 65 years and older and their primary care providers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. We will use an intervention design that will allow for a run-in period, comparison group data collection, a provider education period, and implementation of a best practice alert to prompt provider-patient interactions regarding CVH. Our primary outcome is a CVH score, comprising Life's Simple 7: smoking status, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting glucose, physical activity, and diet. The SPHERE application will generate visualizations of the CVH score within the electronic health record (EHR) during the patient-provider encounter. A key outcome of the study will be change in mean CVH score pre- and post-intervention.

Conclusions: The SPHERE application leverages the EHR and may improve health outcomes through HIT designed to empower clinicians to discuss CVH with their patients and enhance primary prevention efforts.

Keywords: Aging; Biomedical informatics; Lifestyle; Risk factor; Women.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Decision Support Systems, Clinical / organization & administration
  • Diet
  • Electronic Health Records / organization & administration*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Ohio
  • Primary Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Primary Prevention / organization & administration*
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Stroke / prevention & control


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol