Uptake of a free coronary heart disease risk screening programme in community pharmacy: the Healthy Heart Assessment service
van den Berg, M. and Donyai, P. (2007) Uptake of a free coronary heart disease risk screening programme in community pharmacy: the Healthy Heart Assessment service. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 15 (Supplement). B18-B19. ISSN 0961-7671
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1211/096176707781890761
Introduction Health promotion (HP) aims to enhance good health while preventing ill-health at three levels of activity; primary (preventative), secondary (diagnostic) and tertiary (management).1 It can range from simple provision of health education to ongoing support, but the effectiveness of HP is ultimately dependent on its ability to influence change. HP as part of the Community Pharmacy Contract (CPC) aims to increase public knowledge and target ‘hard-to-reach’ individuals by focusing mainly on primary and tertiary HP. The CPC does not include screening programmes (secondary HP) as a service. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the UK. While there is evidence to support the effectiveness of some community pharmacy HP strategies in CHD, there is paucity of research in relation to screening services.2 Against this background, Alliance Pharmacy introduced a free CHD risk screening programme to provide tailored HP advice as part of a participant–pharmacist consultation. The aim of this study is to report on the CHD risk levels of participants and to provide a qualitative indication of consultation outcomes. Methods Case records for 12 733 people who accessed a free CHD risk screening service between August 2004 and April 2006 offered at 217 community pharmacies were obtained. The service involved initial self-completion of the Healthy Heart Assessment (HHA) form and measurement of height, weight, body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol and highdensity lipoprotein levels by pharmacists to calculate CHD risk.3 Action taken by pharmacists (lifestyle advice, statin recommendation or general practitioner (GP) referral) and qualitative statements of advice were recorded, and a copy provided to the participants. The service did not include follow-up of participants. All participants consented to taking part in evaluations of the service. Ethical committee scrutiny was not required for this service development evaluation. Results Case records for 10 035 participants (3658 male) were evaluable; 5730 (57%) were at low CHD risk (<15%); 3636 (36%) at moderate-to-high CHD risk (≥15%); and 669 (7%) had existing heart disease. A significantly higher proportion of male (48% versus 30% female) participants were at moderate- to-high risk of CHD (chi-square test; P < 0.005). A range of outcomes resulted from consultations. Lifestyle advice was provided irrespective of participants’ CHD risk or existing disease. In the moderate-to-high-risk group, of which 52% received prescribed medication, lifestyle advice was recorded for 62%, 16% were referred and 34% were advised to have a re-assessment. Statin recommendations were made in 1% of all cases. There was evidence of supportive and motivational statements in the advice recorded. Discussion Pharmacists were able to identify individuals’ level of CHD risk and provide them with bespoke advice. Identification of at-risk participants did not automatically result in referrals or statin recommendation. One-third of those accessing the screening service had moderate-to-high risk of CHD, a significantly higher proportion of whom were men. It is not known whether these individuals had been previously exposed to HP but presumably by accessing this service they may have contemplated change. As effectiveness of HP advice will depend among other factors on ability to influence change, future consultations may need to explore patients’ attitude towards change in relation to the Trans Theoretical Model4 to better tailor HP advice. The high uptake of the service by those at moderate-to-high CHD risk indicates a need for this type of screening programme in community pharmacy, perhaps specifically to reach men who access medical services less.
1 Blenkinsopp A, Panton R, Anderson C. Health promotion for pharmacists. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2000. 2 Public health. A practical guide for community pharmacists. London: Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, National prescribing Authority, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, Pharmacy Health Link; 2004. 3 Anderson KM, Odell PM, Wilson PW, Kannel WB. Cardiovascular disease risk profiles. Am Heart J 1991;121:293–8. 4 Prochaska JO, DiClemente CC. In: Hersen M et al. Progress in behaviour modification. New York: Sycamore Press; 1992.