Assessing the effectiveness of personal health record booklets at increasing preventive and screening behaviours for cancer and cardiovascular disease
Newell, S 1995, 'Assessing the effectiveness of personal health record booklets at increasing preventive and screening behaviours for cancer and cardiovascular disease', PhD thesis, University of Newcastle, NSW.
The ultimate aim of this thesis was to assess the effectiveness of Personal Health Record Booklets (PHRBs) at increasing age- and gender- specific preventive and screening behaviours for cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, a number of methodological questions had to be addressed before it was possible to address this issue. Consequently, the thesis consists of a number of independent studies and literature reviews that were conducted in order to determine the best way to assess the effectiveness of the PHRBs. The Health Insurance Commission (HIC) maintains records of all health procedures conducted by general practitioners. This data is available for research purposes and although it could not provide data on all the behaviours of interest, it was decided that quality was more important than quantity. Therefore, HIC data in the areas of cervical, breast and skin cancer were used as the outcome measures, by which to judge the effectiveness of the PHRBs. PHRBs were distributed to all adults aged 20 to 60 years inclusive in ten rural NSW towns. The impact of the PHRBs on behaviour was assessed by obtaining HIC data, for five years pre-distribution and 1 year post-distribution, and comparing the changes in the rates of procedures relating to breast, skin and cervical cancers found in the ten intervention towns with those found in ten matched control towns. In brief, the PHRBs were found to have no significant effect on the behaviours of interest. Potential explanations and consequences of this finding are discussed.