Intended for healthcare professionals

General Practice

Randomised controlled trial of health promotion in general practice for patients at high cardiovascular risk

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 15 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:993
  1. M E Cupples,
  2. A McKnight
  1. Department of General Practice, Queen's University of Belfast, Dunluce Health Centre, Belfast BT9 7HR
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Cupples
  • Accepted 24 August 1994


Objective: To assess the value of health education for patients with angina in reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease and lessening the effect of angina on everyday activities.

Design: Randomised controlled trial of personal health education given every four months.

Setting: 18 general practices in the greater Belfast area.

Subjects: 688 patients aged less than 75 years and known to have had angina for at least six months; 342 randomised to receive education and 346 to no education.

Main outcome measures: Restriction of everyday activities, dietary habit, smoking habit, frequency of physical exercise; blood pressure, body mass index, and serum total cholesterol concentration at entry to trial and after two years.

Results: 317 in the intervention group and 300 in the control group completed the trial. At the two year review more of the intervention group (140, 44%) reported taking daily physical exercise than the control group (70, 24%). The intervention group also reported eating a healthier diet than the control group and less restriction by angina in any everyday activity. No significant differences were found between the groups in smoking habit, systolic or diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol concentration, or body mass index.

Conclusion: Despite having no significant effect on objective cardiovascular risk factors, personal health education of patients with angina seems to increase exercise and improve dietary habits and is effective in lessening the restriction of everyday activities.


  • This work was funded by the Medical Research Council. We wish to thank our statistician, Dr D Merrett; the health visitors who carried out the fieldwork; and our secretary, Miss C Agnew.

  • Accepted 24 August 1994
View Full Text