Healthy Living Across the Life Span

Participating Faculties: Health Sciences (Host), Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Social Science, and Information and Media Studies

Project Leaders: Kevin Shoemaker

Total Project Funding:  $259,000

Funding Period: 3 years

Prevention and management of chronic disease, in particular cardiovascular disease, is highly information-intensive. Not only must all members of the care team understand, integrate and communicate various types of information (i.e. clinical ‘best evidence’, specific information about the individual case, patient preferences, etc), but lifestyle management information must be effectively communicated to patients according to their needs, preferences and abilities. Also, physical and personnel resources that enable the successful and sustained integration of education and lifestyle management strategies into family practice (e.g. exercise and nutrition) are needed. The overall objective of this IDI program is to establish a model process whereby prescriptive exercise and nutritional aspects of chronic disease management can be prescribed and applied to patients at risk for cardiovascular disease through primary care, combining the expertise of family practice teams and a new specialization of Clinical Kinesiology (CK). The CK specialists will be developed at the undergraduate level and then integrated within family practice teams to enable the translation of evidence regarding the interaction of lifestyle management practices and health within clinical practice. In addition, the CK and this IDI program aim to improve the sustainability of behavioural change by patients with disease or disease risk by integrating such expertise into family practice and by the provision of physical and educational resources that will enable and enhance patient care in the areas of exercise and nutrition. A directed research program will provide the evidence required to establish the CK training program, as well as systematically investigate the implementation and outcomes of the model process. By working with family physicians and their teams, the CK and University community will integrate with community-based family practice clinics to enhance patient care with improved health outcomes.