A study by Cambridge University, published in BMJ Open, has explored the impact of providing cardiovascular disease risk estimated to patients and health care professionals, and whether this impacts decision making, behaviour and health.
The researchers conducted a systematic review of 17 studies.
Together they showed that provision of risk information to patients improved the accuracy of risk perception without decreasing quality of life or increasing anxiety, but had little effect on lifestyle, such as diet.
Providing risk information to physicians increased prescribing of lipid-lowering and blood pressure medication, with greatest effects in those with CVD risk greater than 20%.
The full study can be read here.
PiF’s best practice on the clear communication of risk in health information for patients can be found here.