Engaging Patients in Managing Chronic Illness

Course Information

Course Code


Instruction Method


DE803 – ONLINE login information will be emailed the week before the course start date

Choices and Change Workshop – IN-CLASS







Please Note: this course is undergoing revision and will be available in 2023. Please check back then for updates and information!

In this 12 week online post graduate course, learners will explore the complexities of behaviour change in chronic disease. This course was designed to provide you with the opportunity to enhance your knowledge and skills regarding behaviour change strategies by examining a number of different strategic theories of chronic illness self-management as well as behavioural change theories. Put your new knowledge to the test in Step 2 through the integration of a standardized and evidence-based practical component workshop – Choices and Changes: Motivating Healthy Behaviours.

In this 12 week course you will explore theories and practices pertaining to behavioural change counseling, covering:

  • Theoretical models including Stages of Change, health belief model, empowerment, motivational interviewing, and the “5 As” approach.
  • Common psychological disorders among people with chronic illness, including diabetes.
  • How to incorporate appropriate behavioral approaches to patient education practice.

Evaluation Schedule 

Evaluation Item Due Date
Online discussions Week 2-3
Week 6-8
Online case conference Week 4-5
Week 9-10
Written assignment Week 11-12

About Choices and Change

Individual behavior is well documented to have a substantial impact on the prevention, treatment and course of a wide variety of illnesses and conditions. Clinicians frequently express frustration about their capacity to influence patient behavior, especially when they see the negative impact of that behaviour on their patients’ health outcomes. Clinicians are well-versed in how specific behavioral changes can improve patients’ health, but are typically ill-equipped to help patients make changes. Choices and Changes: Motivating Healthy Behaviours designed by Institute for Health Care Communication provides clinicians with efficient and effective tools to help them motivate patients’ health behavior changes and adherence to treatment plans.

By the end of the Choices and Changes workshop, participants will be able to:

    1. Cite research related to health behavior change
    2. Identify two models of health behavior change
    3. Demonstrate three core motivational interviewing (MI) skills
    4. Identify the four key elements of a visit with a patient/client
    5. Practice techniques to assess patient/client’s conviction and confidence levels
    6. Practice techniques that tailor interventions to patient/client’s levels of conviction and confidence

About Choose Health

South Riverdale Community Health Centre’s Choose Health program is an outcome of the Ontario Diabetes Strategy. They provide evidence informed programming that is designed to facilitate healthy behaviour change for individuals living with long term health conditions as well as their caregivers including the health care providers.

The Value Behind our Partnership 

The Michener Institute of Education at UHN and South Riverdale Community Health Centre (SRCHC) partnership is truly living up to Michener’s mission of “Teaching and Learning for a Healthier World”. This partnership has allowed us to create a unique opportunity with a two step program. The skills and techniques delivered in Michener’s online theory course will then be applied by embedding what participants have learned in a practical hands on workshop that will be offered by SRCHC.

View your Journey Map!

Step 1: Online Theory

Complete DE803 – Engaging Patients in Managing Chronic Illness (online course). This can be completed at your own pace as there are weekly assignments and milestones, visit the online course overview to see a weekly schedule.

Step 2: Practical Component

Within the GTA, Ontario

Participate in the February 5th 2020- Choices and Changes: Motivating Healthy Behaviours Workshop at the Toronto General Hospital – University Health Network

Within Ontario

The Choices and Changes workshop in Ontario are hosted within each region and each program has a unique name, click “Within Ontario” to see a complete list of upcoming workshops closest to you!

Beyond Ontario 

The Choices and Changes workshop in Canada are hosted within each region of their respected province and each program has a unique name within the province, click “Beyond Ontario” to see a complete list of upcoming workshops closest to you!

Computer literacy

  • Students must have access to a computer that meets the minimum system requirements, access to the Internet, and an e-mail account
  • Access to and basic proficiency with a PDF reader, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft PowerPoint are also required as they are used to access course material and submit evaluation items

This 2 in 1 course is perfect for all health professionals working with people who have a chronic illness. The course is appropriate for a wide range of clinicians, at every stage of their careers. Physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, case managers, diabetes educators, social workers, psychologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, addiction counselors, health coaches, health educators and dieticians have benefited from the program. 

Did you know? This course qualifies for 0.5 credits under the “Patient Teaching and Coaching” domain of a de Souza Designation. To claim your credit contact the de Souza Institute.

Registration instructions:

  1. Select button “View Available Sections and Registration”
  2. This page contains 3 boxes. Click on the “Sign In” box
  3. If you have a Self service account, sign in here. If you do not, then create an account.
  4. Select your course/section by clicking the “Add” button which will send the course to your cart.
  5. To move on to payment, click the blue “Register” button.
  6. Once payment has been processed, registration is complete.

COVID Vaccine Requirement:

Proof of full vaccination (2 doses) for all learners is required for all onsite attendance at Michener.
Fully online courses do not require proof of vaccination.

Instructions to upload proof of COVID vaccination to Self Service