STUDY | 
Health
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Enhancing the effectiveness of community stroke risk screening: a randomized controlled trial.

Anderson (2011)
Summary by 

Stroke risk factors are routinely assessed in community screening programs; however, the rate of patient follow-up for health care once risk factors are identified is known to be low. This study was conducted to test the effectiveness of a brief behavioral telephonic intervention in an ongoing community stroke prevention screening program on health care seeking for stroke risk. A total of 227 participants with 2 or more stroke risk factors were randomly allocated to either an attention control arm or a behavioral intervention arm. The control group received standard information on risk and advice, whereas the intervention group received a brief Health Belief Model telephonic intervention designed to motivate care-seeking. The effect of treatment on the participants who completed a health care visit for stroke risk concerns was assessed using logistic regression. Cox survival analysis was used to compare time to physician visit between the 2 groups. Participants in the intervention arm were 1.85 times more likely to visit a primary care physician than controls. At 3 months, 69.2% of subjects in the intervention arm and 52.9% ofthose in the controls arm reported a new primary care visit after screening (P = .02), with 56.0% in the intervention arm and 38.4% in the control arm reporting a primary care visit specifically to discuss the stroke screening results (P < .01). Our data indicate that the brief, low-cost, motivational intervention effectively promoted adherence to screening advice and merits further testing.