Background: Having an unhealthy lifestyle is associated with a higher risk of developing lifestyle-related diseases. Current evidence suggests that interventions targeting health-risk behaviors can help people improve their lifestyles and prevent lifestyle-related diseases. However, preventive programs are often challenged by low participation rates. Reasons for non-participation include lack of time and/or interest, and/or no perceived need for lifestyle intervention. This study explores causes for non-participation in a sample of people who chose not to take up a targeted preventive program (TOF pilot2 study). Patient-reported reasons as well as sociodemographic characteristics and lifestyle factors are in focus. Methods: A total of 4633 patients from four Danish GP clinics received an invitation to take part in the TOF pilot2 study. Patients who chose not to participate in the TOF pilot2 study were asked to fill in a questionnaire concerning reasons for non-participation, lifestyle, BMI and self-rated health. Descriptive analyses were used to summarize the results. Results: A total of 2462 patients (53.1%) chose not to participate in the TOF pilot2 study. Among these, 84 (3.4%) answered the full questionnaire on reasons for not participating, lifestyle, BMI and self-rated health. The most common reasons for non-participation were lack of time, having an already healthy lifestyle, and feeling healthy. Based on their self-reported lifestyle 45 (53.6%) of the non-participants had one or more health-risk behaviors including smoking, unhealthy diet, BMI ≥ 35 and/or sedentary lifestyle and were therefore eligible to receive the targeted intervention at the GP or the MHC in the original TOF pilot2 study. Conclusion: When planning future preventive programs it is important to know the main reasons for patients to not participate. This study provides rare insight into why people opt out of health interventions and advances the evidence base in this area. Our results may inform efforts to better involve these patients in preventive health programs. Trial registration: Trial registration number: NCT02797392.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
The study received funding from Trygfonden (grant no 125508), The Committee of Quality and Education in General Practice in the Region of Southern Denmark (grant no 18/527), The Region of Southern Denmark (grant no 11/13244) and The Fund for General Practice (grant no A2804). The sponsors had no involvement in the review or approval of the manuscript.
© 2022, The Author(s).