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Enhanced invitation methods to increase uptake of NHS health checks: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Forster, Alice S., Burgess, Caroline, McDermott, Lisa, Wright, Alison J., Dodhia, Hiten, Conner, Mark, Miller, Jane, Rudisill, Caroline, Cornelius, Victoria and Gulliford, Martin C. (2014) Enhanced invitation methods to increase uptake of NHS health checks: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 15 (1). ISSN 1745-6215

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Identification Number: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-342


Background: NHS Health Checks is a new program for primary prevention of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and vascular dementia in adults aged 40 to 74 years in England. Individuals without existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes are invited for a Health Check every 5 years. Uptake among those invited is lower than anticipated.Method: The project is a three-arm randomized controlled trial to test the hypothesis that enhanced invitation methods, using the Question-Behaviour Effect (QBE), will increase uptake of NHS Health Checks compared with a standard invitation. Participants comprise individuals eligible for an NHS Health Check registered in two London boroughs. Participants are randomized into one of three arms. Group A receives the standard NHS Health Check invitation letter, information sheet, and reminder letter at 12 weeks for nonattenders. Group B receives a QBE questionnaire 1 week before receiving the standard invitation, information sheet, and reminder letter where appropriate. Group C is the same as Group B, but participants are offered a £5 retail voucher if they return the questionnaire. Participants are randomized in equal proportions, stratified by general practice. The primary outcome is uptake of NHS Health Checks 6 months after invitation from electronic health records. We will estimate the incremental health service cost per additional completed Health Check for trial groups B and C versus trial arm A, as well as evaluating the impact of the QBE questionnaire, and questionnaire plus voucher, on the socioeconomic inequality in uptake of Health Checks.The trial includes a nested comparison of two methods for implementing allocation, one implemented manually at general practices and the other implemented automatically through the information systems used to generate invitations for the Health Check.Discussion: The research will provide evidence on whether asking individuals to complete a preliminary questionnaire, by using the QBE, is effective in increasing uptake of Health Checks and whether an incentive alters questionnaire return rates as well as uptake of Health Checks. The trial interventions can be readily translated into routine service delivery if they are shown to be cost-effective.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors ; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2014 16:32
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:12
Funders: National Institute for Health Research

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