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Arch Public Health. 2015 Mar 30;73(1):14. doi: 10.1186/s13690-015-0064-1. eCollection 2015.

A qualitative investigation of non-response in NHS health checks.

Author information

1
Centre for Research in Sport, Health and Exercise, Staffordshire University, Leek Road Campus, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DF UK.
2
Centre for Research in Sport, Health and Exercise, Staffordshire University, Leek Road Campus, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2DF UK ; Stoke-on-Trent City Council Public Health Directorate, Civic Centre, Glebe Street, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 1HH UK.
3
Havering Public Health, Mercury House, 12th Floor, Mercury Gardens, Romford, Essex RM1 3DW UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Improving uptake of NHS Health Checks has become a priority in England, but there is a lack of data on the perceptions of programme non-attenders. This study aimed to explore how non-attenders of NHS Health Checks perceive the programme, identify reasons for non-attendance and inform strategies to improve uptake.

METHOD:

This qualitative study involved individuals registered at four general practices in Stoke-on-Trent, UK, who had not taken up their invitation to a NHS Health Check. Semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for Thematic Analysis.

RESULTS:

Interviews were completed with 19 males and 22 females (mean age 52.9 ± 8.5 years), who were socio-demographically representative of the non-attender population. Four main themes identified related to: the positive perception of the Health Check concept among non-attenders; the perceived lack of personal relevance; ineffective invitation method and appointment inconvenience were common barriers; previous experience of primary care can influence uptake.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fundamental requirements for improving uptake are that individuals recognise the personal relevance of Health Checks and that attendance is convenient. Incorporating more sophisticated and personalised risk communication as part of the invitation could increase impact and promote candidacy. Flexibility and convenience of appointments should be considered by participating general practices.

KEYWORDS:

Cardiovascular diseases; Health check; Mass screening; Qualitative research

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