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A qualitative exploration of two risk calculators using video-recorded NHS health check consultations

Riley, Victoria and Ellis, Naomi J and Cowap, Lisa and Grogan, Sarah and Cottrell, Elizabeth and Crone, Diane and Chambers, Ruth and Clark-Carter, David and Fedorowicz, Sophia and Gidlow, Christopher (2020) A qualitative exploration of two risk calculators using video-recorded NHS health check consultations. BMC Family Practice, 21 (1). pp. 1-13.

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Abstract

Background The aim of the study was to explore practitioner-patient interactions and patient responses when using QRISK®2 or JBS3 cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk calculators. Data were from video-recorded NHS Health Check (NHSHC) consultations captured as part of the UK RIsk COmmunication (RICO) study; a qualitative study of video-recorded NHSHC consultations from 12 general practices in the West Midlands, UK. Participants were those eligible for NHSHC based on national criteria (40–74 years old, no existing diagnoses for cardiovascular-related conditions, not on statins), and practitioners, who delivered the NHSHC. Method NHSHCs were video-recorded. One hundred twenty-eight consultations were transcribed and analysed using deductive thematic analysis and coded using a template based around Protection Motivation Theory. Results Key themes used to frame the analysis were Cognitive Appraisal (Threat Appraisal, and Coping Appraisal), and Coping Modes (Adaptive, and Maladaptive). Analysis showed little evidence of CVD risk communication, particularly in consultations using QRISK®2. Practitioners often missed opportunities to check patient understanding and encourage risk- reducing behaviour, regardless of the risk calculator used resulting in practitioner verbal dominance. JBS3 appeared to better promote opportunities to initiate risk-factor discussion, and Heart Age and visual representation of risk were more easily understood and impactful than 10-year percentage risk. However, a lack of effective CVD risk discussion in both risk calculator groups increased the likelihood of a maladaptive coping response. Conclusions The analysis demonstrates the importance of effective, shared practitioner-patient discussion to enable adaptive coping responses to CVD risk information, and highlights a need for effective and evidence-based practitioner training.

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