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Health Perception Changes of State Employees Following a Health Screening Event

Helen C Pervanas, Matthew A Silva, Kristine C Willett, Maryann R Cooper, Cheryl Durand, Paul Belliveau, and Cheryl Abel

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Background: Health screenings can identify patients at risk for chronic medical conditions. Additionally, screenings may influence behavior changes as depicted by the Health Belief Model.

Objective: To examine the perceptions of state employees regarding their health and risk for medical conditions, assess whether unexpected or abnormal screening results will impact perceptions, and identify barriers to scheduling an annual physical examination.

methods: State employees participated in screenings for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and osteoporosis. Participants were asked to complete a pre- and post-survey. Pre-survey questions gathered information on demographics, chronic medical conditions, perception of overall health, and willingness to have an annual physical examination. The post-survey assessed self-health perceptions based on screening results, their risk for chronic medical conditions, and the likelihood that the screening results would encourage scheduling a provider appointment.

results: One hundred twenty-six of 128 (98.4%) employees completed the survey. Thirty-five percent of employees had cholesterol levels >200 mg/dL and 23% had T-scores less than or equal to –1.0. When asked about preexisting medical conditions, 40% of those with elevated cholesterol levels reported that they had high cholesterol, and 5% with low T-scores stated that they had osteoporosis. Following the screenings 54% and 55% responded that they were at risk for high cholesterol (p = 0.02) and osteoporosis (p < 0.001), respectively. Participants who reported having had no annual physical examination but who planned to schedule a visit as a result of their screening had a higher total cholesterol level than those who reported annual physical examinations prior to the screening (207 ± 42.6 mg/dL vs 189 ± 33.2 mg/dL; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Health screenings increased awareness of dyslipidemia and osteoporosis among state employees. Higher than normal cholesterol results influenced health perceptions and encouraged respondents to schedule a provider visit.

J Pharm Technol 2012;28:47-50

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