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J R Coll Gen Pract. 1988 Feb;38(307):53-6.

Invitation to attend a health check in a general practice setting: comparison of attenders and non-attenders.


A sample of 1570 men and women aged 20-45 years registered with an inner-city Cardiff practice were offered the opportunity by their general practitioner to have a health check at the surgery. The demographic characteristics, attitudes, beliefs and preventive health behaviour and past contact with the practice were compared for a sample of 259 non-attenders and 216 attenders. The results showed that attenders were generally better educated, better motivated to look after their health, had fewer ties and commitments, performed more healthapproved practices, had had more recent contact with their own practice and accepted the legitimacy of a general practitioner's interest in his patients' lifestyle. Offering cohorts of patients additional screening services is unlikely to be efficient or effective since it is the low-risk people already known to the doctor who are most likely to attend. The onus lies on primary health care to provide services in a way which permits appropriate screening of the high-risk groups as they attend for other reasons.

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