Exploring equity in uptake of the NHS Health Check and a nested physical activity intervention trial

J Public Health (Oxf). 2016 Sep;38(3):560-568. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv070. Epub 2015 Jun 1.


Background: Socio-demographic factors characterizing disadvantage may influence uptake of preventative health interventions such as the NHS Health Check and research trials informing their content.

Methods: A cross-sectional study examining socio-demographic characteristics of participants and non-participants to the NHS Health Check and a nested trial of very brief physical activity interventions within this context. Age, gender, Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) and ethnicity were extracted from patient records of four General Practices (GP) in England.

Results: In multivariate analyses controlling for GP surgery, the odds of participation in the Health Check were higher for older patients (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.04-1.07) and lower from areas of greater deprivation (IMD Quintiles 4 versus 1, OR 0.37, 95% CI 0.18-0.76, 5 versus 1 OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.20-0.88). Older patients were more likely to participate in the physical activity trial (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02-1.06).

Conclusions: Younger patients and those living in areas of greater deprivation may be at risk of non-participation in the NHS Health Check, while younger age also predicted non-participation in a nested research trial. The role that GP-surgery-specific factors play in influencing participation across different socio-demographic groups requires further exploration.

Keywords: physical activity; public health; socioeconomic factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Healthcare Disparities / organization & administration
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • State Medicine* / statistics & numerical data
  • United Kingdom