However, whether or not Canadian hospitals are ready to look after these patients with in the right setting with the right equipment and whether healthcare providers are aware of and sensitive to the special needs of these patients is not clear.
This is why, Mary Forhan and her team at the University of Alberta is currently conducting a qualitative and quantitative assessment of exactly what problems patients with severe obesity face in healthcare settings.
The study, funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solution (AIHS) will look at the special challenges that these patients present in a range for settings – acute care, cancer, cardiology and rehabilitation.
A substudy will also examine the issues faced by kids and adolescent with severe obesity in healthcare settings.
Together, this project should lead to a better understanding on how healthcare systems better prepare themselves to deliver compassionate and professional care to adults and children living with severe obesity in Alberta. The learnings will likely also inform healthcare systems elsewhere.
For more on this study visit the AIHS website.
If you are someone living with severe obesity, who has experienced issues in your healthcare that could have been prevented or addressed with appropriate equipment and/or training, I’d love to hear your story.
Conflict: I am a co-investigator on this project.
Regular readers will be well of the very real social and health impact of weight bias and discrimination.
Now, Sara Kirk of Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, invites you to join her free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), on weight bias and stigma in obesity, which will be starting on April 20th 2015 (just a week before the Canadian Obesity Summit in Toronto).
The course builds on Kirk’s extensive research in this area and the dramatic presentation that was created from her findings.
Participants will be able to explore some of the personal and professional biases that surround weight management and that impact patient care and experience.
This will hopefully give health professionals better insight into how to approach individuals experiencing obesity in a respectful and non-judgmental manner and provide strategies to build positive and supportive relationships between health care providers and patients.
While targeted at health care providers, the course should also be of interest to anyone interested in learning more about what weight bias is and how it can impact health and relationships.
Participants who complete the course requirements can apply for a citation of completion (for a nominal fee).
Over the past few months, I have been working with mdBriefCase, a major provider of free online accredited continuing medical education, to produce interactive modules for obesity management.
The modules are aimed at practitioners working in primary care and pharmacists and align closely with the Canadian Obesity Network’s 5As of Obesity Management framework.
The accredited course (Mainpro M1 and MOC Section 1 or 3 credits) is available free of charge to all Canadian Health Professionals.
To access the course for physicians and allied health practitioners on mdBriefCase – click here
To access the course for pharmacists on rxBriefCase – click here
Regular readers will recall that for the past 9 years, I have spent 10 days each summer at the Canadian Obesity Network’s 9-day obesity training camp for students and new professionals (post-docs, residents, etc). This year’s camp will again be held in the attractive setting of the Canadian Rockies.
The Camp is a unique research training activity designed to help trainees advance their careers and continuing engagement in the obesity field and promotes a better understanding of the multi-disciplinary aspects of obesity.
The curriculum covers all aspects of obesity ranging from epidemiology and public health to cell biology, energy, regulation, clinical management. The program has a strong practical component that allows participants to integrate the learnings into their research and/or practice. Opportunities for formal and informal interactions between participants and senior faculty are a key factor in determining the success of the camp.
One of the most important outcomes of this activity is the establishment of a community of young researchers and practitioners that can respond to the growing obesity epidemic in Canada and around the world. A formal social networking analysis of Boot Camp graduates indicates that the boot camp supports the advancement of trainees’career and contributes to ongoing engagement in the obesity field.
The Obesity Boot Camp consists of nine days of intensive teaching and networking, offered to Canadian and international young obesity researchers and new professionals. Young professionals include individuals in their last year, or within five years of, completing their MSc/PhD training. The program is also open to health practitioners and/or clinician scientists such as physicians, dietitians, and exercise specialists.
Participants must submit a completed registration form, a letter of recommendation from their supervisor, a copy of their curriculum vitae and a single-spaced page summary of their research interests or area of practice, and a brief explanation of what they hope to get out of the boot camp.
Cost: $2500 (includes shared accommodation, syllabus, full program, meals, breaks and select social events).
Space is limited. Click here to see the most recent boot camp announcement
Today I will be attending a Summit on Weight Bias at the University of Calgary, that will explore the the issue of weight-based discrimination and ways to address this – especially in health care settings.
It should come as no surprise that weight bias and discrimination are a major barrier to providing proper preventive and therapeutic health care due to the widespread attitudes and beliefs about obesity that exist amongst health professionals and decision makers.
The scientific summit, co-sponsored by the Canadian Obesity Network, Campus Alberta, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), is complemented by a public Cafe Scientifique that will be held on Thursday, March 12, 7.00 at the Parkdale Community Association, 3512 – 5 Ave NW, in Calgary.
For more information and pre-registration for this free public event, which features
Leora Pinhas, MD
Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Physician Lead, Eating Disorders Unit, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Tavis Campbell, PhD
Professor, Department of Psychology and Oncology & Director, Behavioural Medicine Laboratory, University of Calgary
Yoni Freedhoff, MD, CCFP
Medical Director, Bariatric Medical Institute, Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa