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June 27, 2000

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CHR Program Should Go Province-Wide

A Victoria-based health initiative using a health information hotline and a handbook to encourage people to treat minor ailments and injuries themselves, should be expanded province-wide according to an evaluation of the program written by Dr. Jennifer Mullett, a B.C. Health Research Foundation research scholar at UVic's community health promotion coalition. The "Partnerships for Better Health" program is sponsored by the provincial ministry of health, medical services plan and Capital Health Region (CHR) of British Columbia. The two-year pilot program, launched in 1997, involved approximately12,000 CHR households and was popular with participants. Callers to the health support line, staffed by nurses, increased consistently every month of the project. The program's handbook was used by teachers in classrooms and by families in their first aid kits.
"The project resulted in better-informed consumers who wanted to feel they were helping to keep health care system costs down," says Mullett.
The evaluation also recommended more physician support for the program to increase user confidence, better advertising of the credentials of the nurses who staffed the health support line and a method to record participants' self-administered treatment with doctors without the need of an office visit.
The evaluation report is available on the ministry of health website at:
www.hlth.gov.bc.ca/care/selfcare/evalufin.pdf   Media Contacts:
Dr. Jennifer Mullett (human and social development) at (250) 472-4102.

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