Background The 45 year old health check (MBS item 717) for patients aged 45–49
years was introduced in 2006. This study evaluated its impact on
preventive care and patient reported risk factors.
Discussion The health check was associated with a short term improvement
in diet and physical activity behaviours. Mechanisms to enhance
referral need to be developed.
Results There was ambivalence among some of the general practitioners
toward the health check, but most found it feasible. The reported
frequency of GP advice relating to each of the SNAP (smoking,
nutrition, alcohol, and physical activity) risk factors increased; patient
referrals, however, were infrequent. Patients’ readiness to change
their diet and exercise habits improved as a result of the check,
with respondents showing an increase in both the consumption of
vegetables and the frequency of physical activity. There was no
change in body mass index, smoking or alcohol consumption.
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