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Table 2 Communication strategies and perceived patient factors

From: Communicating cardiovascular disease risk: an interview study of General Practitioners’ use of absolute risk within tailored communication strategies

  Communication strategy
  ‘Positive’ ‘Scare tactic’ ‘Indirect’
GP perception of patient’s CVD risk Lower Higher Low but lifestyle risk factors
GP perception of patient motivation Determined Unmotivated Resistant to change, do not understand risk
GP perception of patient anxiety Concerned Dismissive Overly anxious
Aim of communication Reassure and motivate patient Scare patient into taking action Avoid negative/confused reaction from patient
How absolute risk is used Reassure that current risk is low; show achievable future risk reduction Emphasise current high risk; show increased future risk of CVD event Use alternative risk formats (e.g. qualitative description of risk level, colour-coded risk chart)