Delivery and impact of the NHS Health Check in the first 8 years: a systematic review.

02 May 2018

BACKGROUND: Since 2009, all eligible persons in England have been entitled to an NHS Health Check. Uncertainty remains about who attends, and the health-related impacts. AIM: To review quantitative evidence on coverage (the proportion of eligible individuals who attend), uptake (proportion of invitees who attend), and impact of NHS Health Checks. DESIGN AND SETTING: A systematic review and quantitative data synthesis. Included were studies or data reporting coverage or uptake and studies reporting any health-related impact that used an appropriate comparison group or before- and-after study design. METHOD: Eleven databases and additional internet sources were searched to November 2016. RESULTS: Twenty-six observational studies and one additional dataset were included. Since 2013, 45.6% of eligible individuals have received a health check. Coverage is higher among older people, those with a family history of coronary heart disease, those living in the most deprived areas, and some ethnic minority groups. Just under half (48.2%) of those invited have taken up the invitation. Data on uptake and impact (especially regarding health-related behaviours) are limited. Uptake is higher in older people and females, but lower in those living in the most deprived areas. Attendance is associated with small increases in disease detection, decreases in modelled cardiovascular disease risk, and increased statin and antihypertensive prescribing. CONCLUSION: Published attendance, uptake, and prescribing rates are all lower than originally anticipated, and data on impact are limited, with very few studies reporting the effect of attendance on health-related behaviours. High-quality studies comparing matched attendees and non-attendees and health economic analyses are required.