This project sought to find a better way to provide health information to patients with elevated cholesterol than is available in the traditional fee-for-service system, which discourages family physicians from counselling their patients about healthy lifestyles. The project created an education centre, in which patients received risk-reduction information on cholesterol. Team members did pre- and post-assessments of participants’ dietary knowledge and habits, fitness, and cholesterol levels. In addition, they interviewed both physicians and clients. The study found that both treatment and control group participants decreased their serum cholesterol and increased their frequency of physical activity. Support by family and friends was important in maintaining motivation. Family physicians who referred patients to the program reported that although they did not change their practice, they supported the program and would in the future refer patients if such a program were available.
The full report for this project is available on the Alberta Health and Wellness web site at http://www.health.gov.ab.ca/system/key/phc/projects/Capital/Health_lifestyle/description.htm
This project was supported by the Health Transition Fund, which was created in 1997 to provide support for evidence-based decision-making in health care reform by supporting pilot and evaluation projects which test innovative approaches to health care delivery. The views expressed herein do no necessarily represent the official policy of federal, provincial, or territorial governments.