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Invitation method influences NHS Health Check uptake

Tailoring invitation methods for the NHS Health Check could help increase uptake among black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, suggests research. 
NHS Health Check invitation for Asian man

Tailoring invitation methods for the NHS Health Check could help increase uptake among black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, suggests research

The NHS Health Check was launched in April 2009 as a population-wide disease prevention programme in England. It aims to reduce morbidity and mortality by assessing an individuals ten-year risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

There is little evidence on how the invitation method impacts on uptake of the programme, so UK researchers analysed NHS Health Check data for all 30 GP practices in Luton a culturally diverse town between April 2013 and March 2014. Data was extracted on 50,485 residents aged 40 to 74.

They found that white British, black Caribbean and Indian patients were most likely to go for an

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Tailoring invitation methods for the NHS Health Check could help increase uptake among black and minority ethnic (BME) groups, suggests research


An NHS Health Check invitation by telephone is effective among Asian patients. Picture: Alamy

The NHS Health Check was launched in April 2009 as a population-wide disease prevention programme in England. It aims to reduce morbidity and mortality by assessing an individual’s ten-year risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. 

There is little evidence on how the invitation method impacts on uptake of the programme, so UK researchers analysed NHS Health Check data for all 30 GP practices in Luton – a culturally diverse town – between April 2013 and March 2014. Data was extracted on 50,485 residents aged 40 to 74. 

They found that white British, black Caribbean and Indian patients were most likely to go for an NHS Health Check, while patients from black African backgrounds were significantly less likely to take up the offer compared with all other ethnic groups. 

Of the three invitation methods used, face-to-face was most effective for white British patients, both male and female, and least effective among Bangladeshi and Pakistani males. 

Invitation by telephone was most effective for Asian patients – Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Asian Other – and least effective among white British. 

And while invitation by letter was effective among mixed white and Asian males, it was least successful among Pakistani female patients, who the study revealed had the lowest NHS Health Check uptake rates. 

‘The research suggests that a “one size fits all” approach to recruitment may not be the best approach,’ the study authors said. ‘Tailoring invitation methods and ensuring they are culturally sensitive could make a positive contribution to increasing uptake of the NHS Health Check programmes.’ 


Cook EJ, Sharp C, Randhawa G et al (2016) Who uses NHS health checks? Investigating the impact of ethnicity and gender and method of invitation on uptake of NHS health checks. International Journal for Equity in Health. 15, 13. 10.1186/s12939-016-0303-2

 

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