Date of Conferral

2018

Degree

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School

Nursing

Advisor

Robert McWhirt

Abstract

The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit (AWV) has been available to Medicare beneficiaries since 2005; however, most eligible individuals have not taken advantage of this benefit. The literature supports that patients are willing to schedule and complete an AWV if urged to do so by their primary care provider; however, providers are reluctant to advise patients to pursue the AWV due to the lack of perceived value and overall health benefit. The integrative theory of health behavior change was used as the theoretical framework for the project. By increasing patient self-management skills through education, engagement, and support, the project was designed to create a positive impact on the overall health of individuals eligible for the AWV, as demonstrated by evidence of a long-term decrease in chronic conditions and related complications. A retrospective chart review was conducted to evaluate the number of preventive care measures completed in 2 patient populations: ¬those with a completed AWV in 2017, and those without a completed AWV in 2017. The number of completed preventive screenings for colon cancer, breast cancer, fall risk, and depression was as much as 41.6% higher among patients that had completed an AWV. The project's findings will be used to educate providers and patients about the usefulness of Medicare AWVs. Finally, the project findings support positive social change through enhanced patient activation in preventive health strategies.

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