ICDC: Improving the efficient and equitable care of patients with chronic medical conditions; Interdisciplinary Chronic Disease Collaboration

Obesity, smoking, physical inactivity and an ageing population have contributed to an epidemic of high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease and vascular disease. These chronic conditions, which often occur together, are major causes of death and disability. Effective treatments exist but many patients do not adhere to the prescribed treatment and/or their lifestyle choices reduce the effectiveness of the treatments. A survey of 1849 patients with one or more chronic diseases living in Western Canada was conducted in 2012. The survey focused on various aspects of healthcare delivery, financial barriers, geographic barriers and use of information technology as they relate to the care and management of patients with chronic disease. The economics component of this study investigated the correlation between individuals’ time preference and risk attitude, and adherence to advice on health behaviours. The results showed that time and risk preferences play a role in adherence to some but not all health behaviours.

Outcome and Translation

The research identified several potentially modifiable barriers that, if addressed through health policy, could further optimise care of individuals with chronic disease.

HERU researchers involved in this research project: Marjon van der Pol

External Collaborators: B Hemmelgarn, BJ Manns, NR Campbell, KM King, L McLaren, K McLaughlin (University of Calgary); MA Tonelli, S Bowen, A Timothy, TA Caulfield, JA Johnson, SW Klarenbach, FA McAlister, RC Plotnikoff, RT Tsuyuki (University of Alberta); D Gordon (University of Alberta Hospital);  RZ Lewanczuk, P Sargious, S Viner (Alberta Health Services); D Huserau (Canadian Agency for Drugs & Technologies in Health); C Sanmartin (Statistics Canada); SE Straus (University of Toronto) and MW Rosenberg (Queen's University).


Pol, M. van der, Hennessy, D. and Manns, B. (2017) 'The role of time and risk preferences in adherence to physician advice on health behavior change', European Journal of Health Economics, 18(3), 373-386.


Pol, M van der, Hennessey, D. (2013) ‘The role of time and risk preferences in adherence to physician advice on lifestyle behaviour change’, Nordic Health Economists’ Study Group (NHESG), Oslo, August 2013.