Background : 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. 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.
Methods : CISSS-Laval partnered with the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program team to co-develop Cible-santé and evaluate the first cohort of participants enrolled in the program, in order to better understand the program's implementation and scope. Trained volunteers (supervised by a nurse) assisted participants with physical measurements (blood pressure, height, weight and waist circumference), a questionnaire on healthy habits, and assessment of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk.
Results : The evaluation of the first cohort of Cible-Santé 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 chronic conditions (high waist circumference, obesity), but with an already high level of knowledge, skills and confidence to participate in self-management activities.
Conclusion : A limitation of the study is the lack of data regarding the number of professionals who referred their patients to the program. This study provides a portrait of new participants to a self-management chronic disease program, which highlights the potential of supporting chronic disease 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.