Primordial and primary prevention programs for cardiovascular diseases: from risk assessment through risk communication to risk reduction. A review of the literature

Inês Lancarotte, Moacyr Roberto Nobre
Clinics 2016 November 1, 71 (11): 667-678
The aim of this study was to identify and reflect on the methods employed by studies focusing on intervention programs for the primordial and primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. The PubMed, EMBASE, SciVerse Hub-Scopus, and Cochrane Library electronic databases were searched using the terms 'effectiveness AND primary prevention AND risk factors AND cardiovascular diseases' for systematic reviews, meta-analyses, randomized clinical trials, and controlled clinical trials in the English language. A descriptive analysis of the employed strategies, theories, frameworks, applied activities, and measurement of the variables was conducted. Nineteen primary studies were analyzed. Heterogeneity was observed in the outcome evaluations, not only in the selected domains but also in the indicators used to measure the variables. There was also a predominance of repeated cross-sectional survey design, differences in community settings, and variability related to the randomization unit when randomization was implemented as part of the sample selection criteria; furthermore, particularities related to measures, limitations, and confounding factors were observed. The employed strategies, including their advantages and limitations, and the employed theories and frameworks are discussed, and risk communication, as the key element of the interventions, is emphasized. A methodological process of selecting and presenting the information to be communicated is recommended, and a systematic theoretical perspective to guide the communication of information is advised. The risk assessment concept, its essential elements, and the relevant role of risk perception are highlighted. It is fundamental for communication that statements targeting other people's understanding be prepared using systematic data.

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