Consultations May Help

The findings are the result of a five-year randomised trial: the Ebeltoft Health Promotion Project (EHPP). More than two thousand 30 to 49 year olds were invited to take part in the trial, of which 85 percent participated.

The general practitioners invited the population to take part in a random allocation to one of three groups: a control group answering questionnaires; an intervention group having questionnaires, a broad health test with written advice, followed by a normal ten to 15 minute consultation on demand; and an intervention group as the former group, but with a planned 45 minute patient-centred consultation.

A key finding of the five year follow up was that patients participating in health tests and consultations demonstrated lower risk of heart and cardiovascular diseases: 19 percent in the control group had elevated risk factors compared to ten percent in the two intervention groups.

The impact of testing was also found to be cost effective. The overall number of contacts to the health care system was not increased, and as such significantly better life expectancy was found without extra direct and total costs. Participants also reported an overall positive perception from having health tests and consultations.

“There has been a lot of doubt within the international community that there are health outcomes of health tests and patient centred consultations within primary care”, said lead author Doctor Torsten Lauritzen. “Such findings suggest that clinicians and policy makers should now consider implementing health tests and consultations more widely.”

MEDICA.de; Source: SAGE