I have had the privilege of experiencing InspireHealth’s offerings in several contexts: as a medical student in 2006, as a family medicine resident in 2009, and as a family physician guest at the 2-day Life Program in September 2010.
InspireHealth’s MSP-funded offerings are overwhelmingly evidence-based. Dr Oppel [Cash-strapped BC government has money to burn BCMJ 2011;53:547] made no mention of InspireHealth’s Evidence-Based Cancer Prevention Guide, which provides lay language summaries for patients of scientific literature in cancer prevention.
Furthermore, InspireHealth employs a PhD librarian (formerly of the BC Cancer Agency) who reviews the literature weekly and contributes pertinent findings from new studies to the regularly published patient newsletter.
Beyond evidence, what stands out about InspireHealth’s approach is their commitment to patient empowerment. I agree with Dr Oppel that helping to provide patients with a sense of “hope and control” is paramount to good care, and this is where InspireHealth excels.
Physicians at InspireHealth support patients through their conventional treatments while simultaneously offering education about evidence-based prevention and lifestyle approaches. Patients are encouraged to make personal, educated choices about what interventions to pursue. Access to non-MSP-insured “complementary and alternative” modalities is provided within the same facility.
The literature indicates more than 12% of Canadians pursue “complementary and alternative medicine” while 85% with advanced cancer use CAM. InspireHealth endeavors to validate patients’ values and preferences in achieving wellness, and honors their efforts in this regard. The care offered at InspireHealth defines whole-person, patient-centred medicine.
We as providers must remember that while evidence-based care remains a priority, the weight of research funding is industry-based. It is our job to listen, to offer support, and to help our patients negotiate cost/benefit and harm analysis when considering interventions.
The BC government has demonstrated interest in supporting prevention-based, patient-centred models of chronic disease care by allocating funding for InspireHealth’s expansion. This is a boon to the citizens of BC, and a step forward in evolving our health care system toward innovative models of health care delivery.
—Devon Christie, MD
1. Metcalfe A, Williams J, McChesney J, et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine by those with a chronic disease and the general population: Results of a national population based survey. BMC Complement Altern Med 2010;10:58.
2. Trinkaus M, Burman D, Barmala N, et al. Spirituality and use of complementary therapies for cure in advanced cancer. Psychooncology 2011;20:746-754.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org