OBJECTIVES: To compare two programmes for reducing the levels of risk indicators of heart diseases among professional drivers. The programmes were focused on changes of lifestyle. The aim of the programmes was to initiate and motivate a process of change within the driver, which in the long term should lead to permanent and sound health habits. One programme was based on health profile assessment and the other was a health examination. METHODS: Altogether, 102 subjects were investigated (51 allocated to an intervention group and 51 to a reference group). The programme in the intervention group (health profile assessment) was based on revelatory communication, adjusted to the driver and contained individual and group activities. The reference group went through a health examination. In both groups blood pressure, serum lipid concentrations, body mass index, and estimated maximal oxygen uptake were measured and the lifestyle habits were surveyed by questionnaires at the start and at follow ups of 6 and 18 months. RESULTS: The results showed that in the intervention group the maximal oxygen uptake increased, as did exercise habits and the intention to practice good dietary habits. Variable working hours was the most common obstacle to change a health habit. In the reference group the maximal oxygen uptake increased and the concentration of serum total cholesterol and the number of people who perceived stress and loneliness decreased. CONCLUSIONS: Both the health profile assessment and the health examination had an effect on the levels of some risk indicators of heart diseases. Both programmes turned out to be useful because of high participation during the entire period and a generally positive attitude among the subjects.
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