About ‘Your Heart Forecast’ tool
This tool supports health professionals to communicate cardiovascular risk, and the benefit of lifestyle changes to their patients using an interactive graphically based story process.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has an enormous impact on the lives and health of New Zealanders. Estimating the risk of CVD events such as a heart attack or stroke in the next five years, is relatively easy using fully-fledged clinical cardiovascular risk assessment tools (such as Predict, Best Practice, The Edge, Mohio etc.), however, practitioners can find it difficult to explain to patients the concept of CVD risk, and the effect lifestyle and behaviour changes have on risk factors.
In 2008, Dr Sue Wells and Dr Andrew Kerr came up with a novel approach to support CVD risk communication and behaviour change - the 'Your Heart Forecast' tool.
There are two versions of this tool. The one supplied on the Heart Foundation website is for use by Clinicians only. Members of the public can access their version using the supplied link in the information below.
The Your Heart Forecast tool was not made to substitute a proper, fully featured CVD Risk Assessment tool - read more about the limitations of the YHF tool.
However, The Your Heart Forecast tool can assist health professionals to convey cardiovascular risk by using a graphically based story that shows patients:
- An estimate of their current risk (where they are now)
- An estimate of their actual risk if the results are pre-populated across from one of the risk assessment tools outlined above
- How their risk relates to a peer with ideal risk factor control and same CVD risk (their cardiovascular age)
- What would happen to their risk as they get older and made no changes (their 'heart forecast')
- What would happen to their risk if they made healthy lifestyle changes; for example, stopped smoking.
There are three ways for health professionals to access the clinicians' version of this tool.
Clinical/Health Professional Version: This is the preferred method. To access this version you will need to source and install a fully-fledged risk assessment tool onto your computer (such as Predict, best practice, The Edge, Mohio etc.)
Use our free online version: You will need to register to use this version. Registration will be granted if your use is in accordance with the acceptance criteria listed below. If you are using the tool regularly, you will be asked to register to use this version via a simple registration process. - Why do I need to register?
Download our YHF tool and run it off your computer: This version is only available to those who cannot use the online version of the tool. This version is regularly updated and your download will expire at a set date to ensure that you have the most recent version.
Members of the public are not eligible to use the version supplied on the Heart Foundation website but can access a public version located on www.knowyournumbers.org.nz. The public version differs from the clinicians tool as it provides a risk estimate and is intended for use without the support of a health professional.