Effects on cardiovascular disease risk of a web-based health risk assessment with tailored health advice: a follow-up study
Ersen B Colkesen1,2, Bart S Ferket2,3, Jan GP Tijssen1, Roderik A Kraaijenhagen2, Coenraad K van Kalken2, Ron JG Peters1
1Department of Cardiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 2NDDO Institute for Prevention and Early Diagnostics (NIPED), Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 3Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Introduction: A large proportion of the cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden can potentially be prevented by primary prevention programs addressing major causal risk factors. A Web-based health risk assessment (HRA) with tailored feedback for individual health promotion is a promising strategy. We evaluated the effect on CVD risk of such a program among employees of a Dutch worksite.
Methods: We conducted a prospective follow-up study among 368 employees who voluntarily participated in a Web-based HRA program at a single Dutch worksite in 2008. The program included a multicomponent HRA through a Web-based electronic questionnaire, biometrics, and laboratory evaluation. The results were combined with health behavior change theory to generate tailored motivational and educational health advice. On request, a health counseling session with the program physician was available. Follow-up data on CVD risk were collected 1 year after initial participation. The primary outcome was a change in Framingham CVD risk at 6 months relative to baseline. We checked for a possible background effect of an increased health consciousness as a consequence of program introduction at the worksite by comparing baseline measurements of early program participants with baseline measurements of participants who completed the program 6 months later.
Results: A total of 176 employees completed follow-up measurements after a mean of 7 months. There was a graded relation between CVD risk changes and baseline risk, with a relative reduction of 17.9% (P = 0.001) in the high-risk category (baseline CVD risk ≥20%). Changes were not explained by additional health counseling, medication, or an increase in health consciousness within the company.
Conclusions: Voluntary participation in a Web-based HRA with tailored feedback at the worksite reduced CVD risk by nearly 18% among participants at high CVD risk and by nearly 5% among all participants. Web-based HRA could improve CVD risk in similar populations. Future research should focus on the persistence of the effects underlying the CVD risk reduction.
Keywords: primary prevention, health risk assessment, cardiovascular disease risk
© 2011 The Author(s). This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.