Taking action to reduce risk
It is well known that there are large numbers of people in the community who are at high risk of having a heart attack or a stroke but whose risk factors, including high blood pressure, could be better controlled.
Dr Nick Zwar and his team of researchers at the University of NSW wanted to try and address this problem as it has great potential for improving overall cardiovascular health.
They are trialling the use of a new approach (the ImPress intervention) where people at high risk are identified through searching computerised medical records and those who are most at risk are offered a series of visits with the practice nurse and their general practitioner so that their risk factors can be actively managed.
The pilot study indicated that the ImPress intervention can substantially reduce high blood pressure and was well accepted by the patients, nurses and general practitioners who were involved in the project.
The team hopes that by finding high risk patients through their general practice and actively intervening, the number of people having a heart attack or stroke will be reduced.
Dr Zwar said the development and piloting of the Impress intervention was made possible thanks to funding from the Heart Foundation.