Exploring the effectiveness of a brief health promotion intervention in an urgent treatment centre
evidence and practice    

Exploring the effectiveness of a brief health promotion intervention in an urgent treatment centre

Cindy Chacha-Mannie Advanced nurse practitioner, St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre, Care UK, and School of Health Sciences and Social Work, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England
Saseendran Pallikadavath Professor, Demography and global health, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England
Ann Dewey Retired associate head, Research, School of Health Sciences and Social Work, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England
Ngianga Li Kandala Lecturer, Medical statistics and epidemiology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England
Penny Daniels Hospital director, St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre, Care UK, Portsmouth, England

Background In Portsmouth, the prevalence of long-term conditions and presence of modifiable risk factors are often higher than in England as a whole. It has been identified that most adults presenting to an urgent treatment centre (UTC) in Portsmouth have one or more of the following risk factors: smoking, being overweight or obese, and alcohol overuse. Opportunistic health promotion may be beneficial in addressing these risk factors, but there has been little research on its use in UTCs.

Aim To determine the efficacy and effectiveness of using an opportunistic brief health promotion intervention – including advice on smoking cessation, weight management and alcohol intervention as appropriate – with adult patients presenting to Portsmouth’s UTC.

Method A total of 204 participants were recruited to a randomised controlled trial (RCT). Half of the participants (n=102) received the brief health promotion intervention at initial consultation within 20 minutes of their arrival at the UTC (Arm A). The other half of the participants (n=102) received the brief health promotion intervention at full consultation, between 20 minutes and four hours later (Arm B). The primary outcome measure was the number of referrals to the local well-being service for further support with behaviour change. The secondary outcome measures were the acceptability of the intervention and the time taken by the intervention.

Results Participants were generally receptive to the brief health promotion intervention. Of the 204 participants, 64% (n=130) accepted the support provided at the UTC, which indicates that a brief health promotion intervention is acceptable to most patients presenting to the UTC. The same number of referrals to the local well-being service was made in Arm A and Arm B (n=11 in each, n=22 in total), indicating that the timing of the intervention did not affect participants’ decisions to accept or reject referral.

Conclusion An opportunistic brief health promotion intervention with patients presenting to UTCs is feasible and potentially effective. Nurses practising in UTCs and primary care settings generally need to use every opportunity to engage patients in health promotion as part of their routine consultations. Adequate training, support and policies are required to assist nurses in integrating health promotion into their practice.

Primary Health Care. 30, 2, 27-33. doi: 10.7748/phc.2020.e1608

Correspondence

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Conflict of interest

None declared

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