Barriers and facilitators to participation in a health check for cardiometabolic diseases in primary care: A systematic review

Anne Karien M. de Waard*, Per E. Wändell, Martin J. Holzmann, Joke C. Korevaar, Monika Hollander, Carl Gornitzki, Niek J. de Wit, François G. Schellevis, Christos Lionis, Jens Søndergaard, Bohumil Seifert, Axel C. Carlsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Background: Health checks for cardiometabolic diseases could play a role in the identification of persons at high risk for disease. To improve the uptake of these health checks in primary care, we need to know what barriers and facilitators determine participation. Methods: We used an iterative search strategy consisting of three steps: (a) identification of key-articles; (b) systematic literature search in PubMed, Medline and Embase based on keywords; (c) screening of titles and abstracts and subsequently full-text screening. We summarised the results into four categories: characteristics, attitudes, practical reasons and healthcare provider-related factors. Results: Thirty-nine studies were included. Attitudes such as wanting to know of cardiometabolic disease risk, feeling responsible for, and concerns about one’s own health were facilitators for participation. Younger age, smoking, low education and attitudes such as not wanting to be, or being, worried about the outcome, low perceived severity or susceptibility, and negative attitude towards health checks or prevention in general were barriers. Furthermore, practical issues such as information and the ease of access to appointments could influence participation. Conclusion: Barriers and facilitators to participation in health checks for cardiometabolic diseases were heterogeneous. Hence, it is not possible to develop a ‘one size fits all’ approach to maximise the uptake. For optimal implementation we suggest a multifactorial approach adapted to the national context with special attention to people who might be more difficult to reach. Increasing the uptake of health checks could contribute to identifying the people at risk to be able to start preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1326-1340
Publication statusPublished - 1. Aug 2018


  • attendance
  • cardiometabolic disease
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • general practitioner
  • Health check
  • participation
  • prevention
  • primary care


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