The Leading Edge

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Re-learning Healthy Living

As a family doctor with the Edmonton Oliver Primary Care Network and a researcher with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Alberta, Dr. Doug Klein is focused on improving the lifestyle habits of Canadians.

Despite evidence that lifestyle improvements could substantially reduce health care costs and prevent cancer and chronic diseases, the implementation of feasible and scalable programs into primary care has been low. Building on his training in public health, Dr. Klein has begun working with the CHANGE (Canadian Health Advanced by Nutrition and Graded Exercise) Program to develop and implement primary-care lifestyle interventions. The idea is for kinesiologists and dietitians to work alongside family doctors to support patients in creating new diet and exercise habits that can be maintained in the long term. Dr. Klein’s multidisciplinary research group, CHANGE ALBERTA, is now evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of the CHANGE program.

Last fall, Dr. Klein secured $1.6 million of funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund and Metabolic Syndrome Canada to evaluate the implementation of the CHANGE Program in 16 primary care networks across Alberta. This project will determine the best ways of implementing lifestyle interventions within a variety of settings to make scalable and sustainable changes in the lives of Canadians. If
successful, an expanded CHANGE CANCER program could prevent thousands of cancers annually in Alberta and across Canada.

In addition to his research, Dr. Klein is engaged in several health-promotion projects in Edmonton schools, has co-founded a free exercise program for patients called MOVE (www.moveyeg.ca) and writes a health blog for his patients (www.changehealth.ca).

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