Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer are leading causes of death globally. Early detection of cancer and risk factors for CVD may improve health outcomes and reduce mortality. General practitioners (GPs) are accessed by the majority of the population and play a key role in the prevention and early detection of chronic disease risk factors. This cross-sectional study aims to assess the acceptability of an electronic method of data collection in general practice patients. The study will describe the proportion screened in line with guidelines for CVD risk factors and cancer as well as report the prevalence of depression, lifestyle risk factors, level of provision of preconception care, cervical cancer vaccination and bone density testing. Lastly, the study will assess the level of agreement between GPs and patients perception regarding presence of risk factors and screening.
Methods and analysis
The study has been designed to maximise recruitment of GPs by including practitioners in the research team, minimising participation burden on GPs and offering remuneration for participation. Patient recruitment will be carried out by a research assistant located in general practice waiting rooms. Participants will be asked regarding the acceptability of the touch screen computer and to report on a range of health risk and preventive behaviours using the touch screen computer. GPs will complete a one-page survey indicating their perception of the presence of risk behaviours in their patients. Descriptive statistics will be generated to describe the acceptability of the touch screen and prevalence of health risk behaviours. Cohen's κ will be used to assess agreement between GP and patient perception of presence of health risk behaviours.
Ethics and dissemination
This study has been approved by the human research committees in participating universities. Findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications, conference presentations as well as practice summaries provided to participating practices.
Cross-sectional study assessing the acceptability of the use of a portable touch screen computer in order to assess CVD and cancer-related health risk factors as well as the level of preventive behaviours in general practice patients.
This study will also assess whether a touch screen computer health assessment is likely to provide useful information to GPs by assessing the level of agreement between GP and patient self-report on the presence of health risk behaviours.
With touch screen technology becoming more accessible, there is likely to be increased potential to use these technologies to assist in health risk factor assessment as well as delivery of healthcare advice particularly in general practice.
Whether this technology is acceptable to patients and GPs are key indicators of the potential of touch screen assessment to be integrated in delivery of healthcare in the general practice setting.
Strengths and limitations of this study
The study has been designed in order to maximise recruitment of GPs.
A large sample size of almost 3000 patients will be obtained.
As this is a cross-sectional study, no causal relationships can be identified.