Health promotion in CVD prevention: increasing patient awareness of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors

Christopher Sharp, Patrick Ball, Hana Morrissey, Sharon Nielsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Introduction: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia. Modifiable risk factors such as tobacco use and physical inactivity are responsible for a large portion of preventable CVDs burden. Effective public health promotion empowers individuals to minimise their risk, which may include the use of CVDs risk calculators.

    Aim: To investigate whether the current Australian Absolute CVD Risk calculator is known, understood and used by Australian adults population and compare its usability and understandability to the New Zealand CVD risk calculator, Your Heart Forecast.

    Method: Through a series of face-toface public health promotion sessions, in the Wagga Wagga area NSW, utilising a standardised study presentation, survey and posters, the Absolute CVD Risk and Your Heart Forecast calculators were compared. The study sample was selected from social clubs (Rotary, Men's Shed, University Students' Union Club, Women's Breakfast clubs) with participating adults (above the age of 18 years old) with or without a current diagnosis of CVD.

    Results: Participants had preference for the Your Heart Forecast, as demonstrated but it there was no significant difference in questions such as 'intent to use in future', either 'on their own' or 'with the help of another'. There was also no difference between the two calculators in the areas of 'finding a calculator online', 'understanding what information was required to calculate the risk', or 'understanding the results'. By presenting the calculators in differing order to each new group, it was established that the order of presentation did not affect these results.

    Conclusion: Participants did not know about the CVDs risk calculators that could indicate that knowledge of CVDs, CVD risks and their modification and how to access information in the community is suboptimal. As the study was a pilot, a larger study is required to confirm our findings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)68-73
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Pharmacist
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


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