General health check ups have been the norm in many countries for years. The goal of general health checks involves examination of a patient to identify signs, symptoms or risk factors of disease that were previously unrecognized in the patient. A recent Cochrane Review sought to determine the evidence related to this practice. The authors indicate that while treatment for conditions such as hypertension and diabetes is important, screening asymptomatic people for these, and other conditions may not have any benefit. The results pointed to a lack of conclusive evidence to support general health checks. This study has already had an effect on health care delivery. Some jurisdictions have removed funding for physicians to perform these checks.
The EBN Twitter Journal Club will focus attention on this study. Things to consider:
1. Do you feel that the study is rigorous enough to make recommendations to change practice?
2. If you currently conduct annual health checks in your nursing practice, will you change your practice because of this research?
3. What will you tell patients who may continue to expect to have annual health checks?
The discussion will take place Thursday, February 14th to Friday, February 15, 2013. Tweet your message and include #ebnjc to be part of the discussion
The article is:
Krogsbøll LT, Jørgensen KJ, Grønhøj Larsen C, et al. General health checks in adults for reducing morbidity and mortality from disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2012; 10: CD009009.
The article is available online. Click on this link: http://bit.ly/QaoELB
The link to the EBN commentary is here http://bit.ly/12BXLFQ