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A primary care lifestyle programme suitable for socioeconomically vulnerable groups - an observational study.

Journal article
Authors Maria Waller
Ann Blomstrand
Tine Högberg
Nashmil Ariai
Jörgen Thorn
Dominique Hange
Cecilia Björkelund
Published in Scandinavian journal of primary health care
Volume 34
Issue 4
Pages 352-359
ISSN 1502-7724
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine
Pages 352-359
Language en
Subject categories Family Medicine


To explore whether a primary health care (PHC) health promotion programme reaches and engages socioeconomically vulnerable groups in a community to the same extent as higher socioeconomic groups.Comparison of level of engagement and lifestyle improvements stratified by socioeconomic vulnerability level.Hisingen PHC catchment area (130,000 inhabitants) Gothenburg, Sweden.Men and women aged 18-79, visiting any of the eight public PHC centres during an eight-month period 2007-2008, were presented with a short intervention health questionnaire and offered a health dialogue with a nurse, including a health profile, p-glucose and blood pressure check. Participants were classified according to four socioeconomic vulnerability factors: education, employment, ethnicity and living situation.Out of 3691 participants, 27% had low education (Hisingen community level 23%), 18% were unemployed (community level 22%), and 16% were born outside Scandinavia (community level 22%). At the one-year follow-up, 2121 (57%) attended. At baseline, 3% of the individuals in the sample had three out of four socioeconomic vulnerability factors, 17% had two vulnerability factors, 43% had one vulnerability factor, and 37% had no vulnerability factors. Improved biological markers were seen in all vulnerability groups (1-3) and odds ratios for improvement were significantly higher in the most socioeconomically vulnerable group for smoking and stress compared to the group with no vulnerability factors.Socioeconomically vulnerable groups were reached and lifestyle changes were accomplished to the same extent as in the higher socioeconomic groups in a PHC lifestyle intervention programme. KEY POINTS Primary care plays a major part in prevention of chronic diseases. However, non-pharmacological primary and secondary prevention is often less successful, especially concerning socioeconomically vulnerable groups. The health promoting intervention programme "Pro-Health" reached and engaged socioeconomically vulnerable groups. Participants from the socioeconomically vulnerable groups had comparable odds for lifestyle improvements after one year, compared to participants without vulnerability factors.

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