Implementing multiple health behaviour change interventions for cardiovascular risk reduction in primary care: a qualitative study

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Abstract

Background
The implementation of multiple health behaviour change interventions for cardiovascular risk reduction in primary care is suboptimal. This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators to implementing multiple health behaviour change interventions for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction in primary care.

Methods
Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework. Interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of healthcare professionals working in the implementation of the NHS Health Check programme in London. Data were analysed using the Framework method.

Results
Thirty participants were recruited including ten general practitioners, ten practice nurses, seven healthcare assistants and three practice managers from 23 practices. Qualitative analysis identified three main themes: healthcare professionals’ conceptualising health behaviour change; delivering multiple health behaviour change interventions in primary care; and delivering the health check programme. Healthcare professionals generally recognised the importance of health behaviour change for CVD risk reduction but were more sceptical about the potential for successful intervention through primary care. Participants identified the difficulty of sustained behaviour change for patients, the lack of evidence for effective interventions and limited access to appropriate resources in primary care as barriers. Discussing changing multiple health behaviours was perceived to be overwhelming for patients and difficult to implement for healthcare professionals with current primary care resources. The health check programme consists of several components that are difficult to fully complete in limited time.

Conclusions
Advancing the prevention agenda will require strategies to support the delivery of behaviour change interventions in primary care. Greater emphasis needs to be given to promoting behaviour change through supportive environmental context. Further research is needed to evaluate current external lifestyle services to improve the intervention outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC FAMILY PRACTICE
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2018

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