2012 Grant Awards

The posters and papers listed below each grant arise from work facilitated through the grant funding.

Identifying and Addressing Real and Perceived Barriers to Therapeutic Education Programs to Inform New Models of Care

Principal Investigators: Thorne, C; Bain, L; Beattie, K

Project Summary

Increased predicted future prevalence of musculoskeletal diseases and the burden it will place on our human and resource availability is a concern for Canadians.  A call for innovative, flexible, interprofessional models of care will be imperative for us to attain proper care and sustained outcomes. The Arthritis Program (TAP) at Southlake Regional Health Centre offers an award-winning patient centred, interprofessional Inflammatory Arthritis (IA) Therapeutic Education Program (TEP). This classroom-based education program is taught by an interprofessional team of healthcare professionals who cover a variety of topics with the collective goal of helping patients achieve and master disease control, self-management, empowerment, and self-efficacy. The program outcomes are consistently excellent and feedback glowing by patients who participate in the program. However, consistently many patients provided with the opportunity to attend the TEP choose not to attend and cite numerous barriers for not attending. Even those patients who do attend have commented that they have had to overcome barriers in order to do so.  Our project sought to investigate what these barriers were, and to what extent they affected the attendance of our patients.  We categorized these barriers as real (those that actually had to be overcome in order to attend) or perceived (all potential barriers that could potentially affect one’s ability to attend the program). We mailed questionnaires to 3 groups of patients: A group who were invited to attend the program but never did; a group where patients attended less than half of the sessions, and a group that completed the program. Results showed time, work, distance and cost are real barriers to participation in the program. Perceived barriers that were not major factors in preventing individuals from participating were caregiving responsibilities, coping and health.

The majority of our program attendees did not indicate real barriers to attending and within that group patients who experienced perceived barriers were able to apply available resources and modify their program characteristics to enable participation.

Those who did not attend or only attended half the sessions were questioned about alternative learning options.  The most popular response was online interactive e-learning modules that could be viewed from home.

Next steps for TAP include:

  • The exploration of innovative ways to offer TEP including: flexible program options, waving cost, working with employers 
  • Embarking on e-learning opportunities for TEPs
  • Creating patient partnered promotional materials to help patients understand the benefits of TEP and from a patient perspective, the merits, and worthwhile investment of time and resource. This will hopefully assist patients in taking steps to overcome perceived barriers as they are able


2015 Barb Haines Memorial Award

Poster Presentations

Presented at the 2015 Canadian Rheumatology Association meeting.