Development of an online shared decision-making tool for cholesterol management

Physician Learning Program/University of Calgary

University of Calgary


The presence of cardiovascular disease in Canada is high. High cholesterol is one of the causes of cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol affects 1 in 3 Canadian adults. It can be managed and corrected with effective, safe, and inexpensive treatments, such as statins. Studies show us that over 70% of patients who can benefit from statins, are not currently on them. We interviewed patients and physicians to learn about why people do not use statins. Both patients and physicians told us there was a need for easy to understand educational materials about the use of statins. Patients and physicians also told us they wanted a tool to make discussion about cholesterol easier. This way they would be able to make an informed decision together. Our project focuses on co-creating a shared decision making tool to help patients and family physicians have conversations about cholesterol and how to manage it. The goals of the tool are to increase patient knowledge about high cholesterol and how to manage it; to make it easier for physicians to follow most current guidelines; and to provide physicians with a tool to guide conversations about cholesterol management with their patients. The tool will be focused to patients and family physicians in Alberta. Similar tools for diabetes and chronic kidney disease have been created and used with success in Alberta. No such tools are available for cholesterol management in Alberta.

Roles and Responsibilities

As a patient partner you will be a core part of our team for the ongoing co-development of the tool. This includes:

  • Helping to validate personas and patient journeys through virtual calls;
  • Collaborating in co-design sessions to help brainstorm best solutions and ideas;
  • Provide ongoing feedback and insights to the design.

Your collaboration on this project will include attending up to 5 hours of meetings to provide your perspectives, insights and ideas. We will be happy to accommodate your preferences regarding scheduling and whether you are more comfortable meeting online or in-person.  In person meetings will be in Calgary at Foothills Medical Centre.

Time Commitment

This 1-year project is expected to start Fall 2022. A maximum of 5 hours of meetings are expected.
We will work with you to learn about your preferences as we are developing our meeting plan.Meeting options are:  1-hour long sessions, 30-minute virtual phone calls, or a one time 2-hour session for co-design in a group.


Patient partners will be offered compensation for their essential collaboration in meetings at a rate of $25/hour through a gift card* of their choice.
We are also offering an additional gift card* of your choice at the end of the project for time spent responding to emails and email feedback requests.
*Available through the service EverythingCard vendors. (Such as Walmart, Canadian Tire, Starbucks, Indigo, Amazon).
Reimbursement will be offered for any out-of-pocket expenses related to in-person collaboration, such as parking.

Michelle Cheng
Johanna Blaak

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University of Calgary Foothills Campus
3330 Hospital Dr NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1


College Plaza
1702, 8215 112 St NW
Edmonton, AB T6G 2C8

Land Acknowledgment

The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit operates on and acknowledges the lands that are the traditional and ancestral territory of many peoples, presently subject to Treaties 6, 7, and 8. Namely: the Blackfoot Confederacy – Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika – the Cree, Dene, Saulteaux, Nakota Sioux, Stoney Nakoda, and the Tsuu T’ina Nation and the Métis People of Alberta. This includes the Métis Settlements and the Métis Nation of Alberta. We acknowledge the many First Nations, Métis and Inuit who have lived in and cared for these lands for generations. We make this acknowledgment as a reaffirmation of our shared commitment towards reconciliation, and as part of AbSPORU’s mandate towards fostering health system transformation.