905 895 4521 ext. 6656 SDias@southlakeregional.org

Choices and Changes

“Primary health care providers have considerable potential to offer greater self-management support to people  with chronic conditions, both during routine office visits and by linking patients with community-based programs”
(Health Council of Canada, 2012)



The Choices and Changes workshop was developed by the Institute for Healthcare Communication and is accredited by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for 4 Mainpro-M1 credits (for the 4.5 hour workshop).

Self-management support is one of the elements of Ontario’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Management Framework. An essential role of primary care is to help people learn to become good self-managers. A number of strategies and techniques are available for health professionals to support their patients living with chronic health conditions. Behaviour change is challenging and most individuals will need support in order to be successful. Self-management support involves strategies which facilitate collaborative decision making, problem-solving, and setting future goals.

The Choices and Changes workshop is open to all health care professionals and provides the opportunity to learn and practice self-management support skills and communication techniques that ultimately enhance client-centered care.

  • Learn how to assess patients’ conviction and confidence to engage in health behaviour change
  • Learn skills to influence change in patients’ health behaviours
  • Learn techniques to use in clinical settings to influence change and promote adherence to treatment plans

The workshop is based on theories of education, communication, the Stages of Change Model, Social Cognitive Theory, Self-Determination Theory, Motivational Interviewing and the Conviction and Confidence Model. Participants learn specific strategies and skills to apply these models in the setting of brief medical office visits.

It is designed to acquaint the participant with the literature, theory and techniques for promoting change in health behaviour and supporting self-management.

The workshop is ideal for a group of 15- 20 people (max 25 participants) and can be delivered as a 4.5 hour session or two 2-hour sessions and consists of mini-lectures, interactive exercises, videotaped case studies and skill practice with peers.

Workshop goals:

  • To provide health care provider with conceptual models for effective health care provider -patient communication and facilitation of patient health behavior change and self-management.
  • To provide health care provider with opportunities for practice and feedback to improve their own clinical interviewing and behavior change counseling skills
  • To provide health care provider with an opportunity to reflect upon their practices as clinicians, teachers and individuals participating in an educational experience.

Workshop Overview:

  • This workshop is divided into two sections. The first section is designed to help the health care provider identify their own convictions (attitudes, beliefs, values and perception of roles) and confidence in facilitating patient behavior change and illness self-management. Research studies have demonstrated great variance among health care providers in their convictions and confidence as facilitators of change. Self-assessment of attitudes, knowledge and skills is an important first step towards mastering procedures for working with patients to facilitate behavior change.
  • The second section of the workshop presents several techniques and skills for facilitating patient health behavior change and supporting self-management
  • At the end of the workshop, the health care provider will be asked to select two techniques to incorporate into your daily practice. It is encouraged that these techniques are trialed, as one would for any clinical trial.

Evidence Base:

The program draws heavily upon the research and evidence base of:

  • Albert Bandura and Alan Marlatt
  • Edward Deci, Richard Ryan & Geoff Williams
  • William Miller and Stephen Rollnick
  • James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente
  • Edward Wagner and Russell Glasgow
  • Robert Anderson and Martha Funnell

While these researchers do not always agree about the nature of patient motivation or about interventions to enhance motivation, there are many areas of agreement. This workshop emphasizes these agreements.

For more information about hosting a workshop at your location or to locate a workshop near you please contact the Self-Management Project at (905) 895-4521 ext 6656. 


For Choices and Changes workshop


Very informative, thought provoking, and a good challenge. Thanks!!


Thoroughly enjoyed the morning. Skills learned will help me to be a better clinician!


Excellent workshop. I believe my practice will change as a result of the skills I have learned. Great resources and applicable techniques.