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A randomised controlled trial of providing personalised cardiovascular risk information to modify health behaviour.

Zullig LL, Sanders LL, Shaw RJ, McCant F, Danus S, Bosworth HB. A randomised controlled trial of providing personalised cardiovascular risk information to modify health behaviour. Journal of telemedicine and telecare. 2014 Apr 1; 20(3):147-52.

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We conducted a feasibility study of a web-based intervention, which provided personalized cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk information, behavioural risk reduction strategies and educational resources. Participants were block-randomized to the 3-month intervention (n = 47) or to usual care (n = 49). Participants in the intervention group were presented with their CVD risk based on the Framingham risk score, and in three subsequent online encounters could select two behavioural/lifestyle modules, giving them an opportunity to complete six modules over the course of the study. Because it was self-guided, participants had differing levels of engagement with intervention materials. Most intervention group participants (77%, n = 36) completed all modules. After 3 months there were no significant differences between the intervention and usual care groups for systolic blood pressure, body-mass index, CVD risk, smoking cessation or medication non-adherence. The study suggests that modest clinical improvements can be achieved by interventions that are entirely web-administered. However, web-based interventions do not replace the need for human interaction to communicate CVD risk and assist with decision-making.

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