Chronic diseases are responsible for over 70% of all deaths globally. While some self-management programs have been shown to be efficacious in preventing or altering trajectories for some chronic conditions, scaling-up and sustaining such programs beyond tightly-controlled study conditions remain a major challenge. CISSS-Laval partnered with the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program team to co-develop Cible-santé/prévention and evaluate the first cohort of participants enrolled in the program, in order to better understand the program’s implementation and scope. The objective of the current study was to describe the profile of attendees and the level of engagement of participants in a new, region-wide cardiometabolic disease self-management program offered in Laval, Canada.
This was a prospective study with no comparison group. Potential participants were identified and referred to the program from April to December 2015 by their primary care health professional practicing in one of the city’s interdisciplinary primary care clinics. They had their blood pressure, waist circumference and body mass index measured by trained volunteers, and completed a questionnaire on health habits, level of activation and the risk of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes over the next 10 years.
A descriptive analysis of the first cohort of 141 Cible-Santé/prévention participants showed very low attendance. Furthermore, only 1 in 10 of enrolled participants completed the full program. The program typically attracted adults with some risk factors associated with their conditions (high waist circumference, obesity), but with an already high level of knowledge, skills and confidence to participate in self-management activities.
This study provides a portrait of new participants to a self-management cardiometabolic disease program, which highlights the potential of supporting patients ready to make changes but also exposes the difficulty of attracting a larger number and diversity of participants and in encouraging completion of the program.