McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Research team to take successful program overseas

Published: March 18, 2015
Gina Agarwal
Gina Agarwal, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine

Lisa Dolovich
Lisa Dolovich, professor and associate chair of research, Department of Family Medicine

A team led by McMaster family medicine researchers will receive nearly $2 million over five years to test a program in the Philippines designed to decrease the number of people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes in low and middle income countries.

Lisa Dolovich, Ric Angeles and Gina Agarwal will work with researchers from Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine and others in the Philippines and other countries. The funds come from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the International Development Research Centre.

The Community Health Assessment Program in the Philippines (CHAPP) will be implemented by trained volunteers who will invite community residents to attend CHAPP sessions where they will be asked about their health practices and have their blood pressure, weight and height checked.

A computer program will assess the residents' information and determine if they have a high risk of diabetes. Those who are high-risk will have their blood sugar checked by the public health worker present during the CHAPP session. Follow up assessments will occur for those with high blood sugar.

With the residents' consent, all information collected during the CHAPP sessions will be given to the public health office who will offer programs to help those at risk of diabetes. By the fourth year of the program, CHAPP will have been tested in 20 communities to see if it improves healthy behaviours including physical activity and decreases the number of people at high risk of diabetes.

If effective, the fifth year will be used to inform government officials and health workers about how CHAPP can be implemented long term and in other communities.

Dolovich and her colleagues have received several awards for a similar program in Ontario in 2000 called the Cardiovascular Health Awareness Program. It is designed to support the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke by providing free, risk assessment sessions to the public.

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