The prevalence of chronic disease is increasing at an alarming rate, with major impacts on population health and costs to society. A large proportion of chronic disease is avoidable, yet health systems continue to focus overwhelmingly on the treatment rather than prevention of these diseases. Evidence suggests that prevention programmes can be successful, but widespread implementation has been lacking in part because primary care physicians lack the time, resources and guidance on how best to do so. Enter the BETTER program. The BETTER intervention includes a detailed assessment of lifestyle and other chronic disease risk factors, including the use of relevant validated tools. “BETTER Prevention PractitionersTM” develop a “Prevention PrescriptionTM” with patients, and use skills in motivational interviewing and shared decision making to help patients follow-through to reach their goals. The BETTER program was associated with substantial improvements to disease screening and lifestyle factors when compared to usual family physician care in a randomized trial, and similar results were achieved in an implementation study. The results from these studies convinced the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to fund the BETTER Institute to disseminate BETTER as a program outside of the research setting. Research results also convinced the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador to offer BETTER more broadly in that province, and hundreds of patients have already been seen. After this presentation, audience members will have a BETTER understanding of the BETTER program, the evidence behind it, our experience with dissemination in NL and elsewhere, and the role of the BETTER Institute.

Presenters/Panel Members:

Dr. Donna Manca, MD, MClSc, FCFP, Professor and Director of Research, Department of Family Medicine, University of Alberta, Medical Director, The BETTER Institute

Carolina Fernandes, MA, MSc, Executive Director, The BETTER Institute, Lead Coordinator, The BETTER Program

Ashley Ryan BN RN MN, Regional Manager Primary Health Care and Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Program, Eastern Health

Kris Aubrey-Bassler MD MSc FCFP, Director, Primary Healthcare Research Unit, Discipline of Family Medicine, Memorial University

Blenda Dredge, Patient Partner

Tuesday, August 11th, 2020


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