Background: Since the NHS Health Check programme was initiated in 2009, no survey has sought patients' views of Checks provided by GP practices and few studies have reported views of the wider public. This study sought the views and experiences of patients with potentially high-cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk.
Methods: Cross-sectional postal survey of all the patients with an actual or estimated CVD risk score of at least 20% over 10 years, registered with 16 general practices in Sefton, North West England, with no follow-up.
Results: The response rate was 23.4% (644/2958), 67.4% had attended and 73.8% of those not yet invited indicated willingness to attend. Both groups had positive views towards Health Checks, but more non-attenders agreed these should only be performed by doctors. Attenders had better self-reported health and healthy lifestyle than non-attenders. Overall 86.6% of attenders recalled receiving one or more pieces of lifestyle advice and 71.0% claimed to have made at least one lifestyle change; however, perception and understanding of CVD risk appeared limited.
Conclusion: Both attenders and non-attenders had positive views towards NHS Health Checks in general practice and resultant self-reported lifestyle change in attenders was high. Clearer written information and explanation of personal CVD risk are required.
Keywords: Primary care; Public health; Screening.
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