Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 5, May 2009

The 45 year old health check Feasibility and impact on practices and patient behaviour

Cheryl Amoroso Amando Ampt Rachel A Laws Anna M Williams Upali W Jayasinghe Gawaine Powell Davies Suzanne McKenzie Nicholas A Zwar Mark F Harris
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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.
The health check was associated with a short term improvement in diet and physical activity behaviours. Mechanisms to enhance referral need to be developed.
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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