Aim: To compare the effects of information pamphlets with those of group counselling on cardiovascular risk among individuals from a community with low socioeconomic status. Methods: Risk factors for coronary heart disease were assessed in 1131 men and women from a community with low socioeconomic status in suburban Melbourne. Individuals deemed to be at moderate risk, on the basis of an integrated risk score greater than 65, were asked to participate in a randomized trial comparing two simple interventions designed to reduce cardiovascular risk. One hundred and sixty-four individuals were randomly assigned to group A (n = 85) and participated in a single group counselling session lasting between 1.5 and 2.0 h. Group B (n = 79) received a specially prepared pamphlet that provided brief written information concerning risk-factor modification. Both groups were asked to attend a follow-up assessment of risk factors 3 and 6 months after entry. Results: There was no significant difference in the change in risk-factor levels between those receiving information pamphlets and those attending the group counselling session after 3 or 6 months of follow-up. Small but significant decreases (P<0.05) were seen in systolic and diastolic blood pressures (-5/4 mmHg for group A, -5/3 mmHg for group B), total plasma cholesterol level (-0.30 mmol/l for groups A and B) and overall coronary risk score (-14.4 and -13.9 for groups A and B, respectively). Body weight remained unchanged during the study period in both groups. Conclusion: Screening together with 1.5-2 h group counselling had no more influence on cardiovascular risk factors than screening together with provision of information pamphlets in a population with low socioeconomic status.
- Risk factor reduction
- Socioeconomic status