We designed a randomized clinical trial to examine effectiveness of a follow-up educational mailing to improve referral completion following a workplace cholesterol screening program. Of 836 employees who participated in a cholesterol screening program at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland, 313 (37%) had a total cholesterol ≥200 mg/dL and were referred to their physician for remeasurement and evaluation. Individuals with elevated cholesterol who agreed to a telephone interview two months after screening (n = 272) were randomized to a control or intervention group. The intervention consisted of a booster mailing two weeks after screening designed to encourage further physician follow-up and to increase knowledge about cholesterol and its dietary control and about risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD). No statistically significant differences appeared between the control and intervention groups in rate of referral completion. However, a blood cholesterol level of ≥240 mg/dL at the time of screening was the most significant predictor of referral completion (P < .0001). Of those randomized, the association between the number of other additional risk factors for CHD and referral completion was not statistically significant. There was, however, a trend toward reported changes in lifestyle behavior as a result of screening, particularly in diet modification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health