The initial objective of the WISER program was
- To evaluate the effectiveness of the programs and services of the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks Hospital (Winnipeg, Manitoba) in fostering the adoption of health protective behaviours and improving health status.
More generally, the objectives of the overall WISER Program are
Wellness Institute Members and Community Comparison Group:
- To gain a better understanding of the social determinants of population health and the factors that keep Canadians healthy as they age
- To explore the relative importance of structural and personal determinants of health
- To clarify the distinction between determinants of good health and ill health.
The primary source of data for the WISER Program comes from in-person interviews. Samples from two populations were included in this longitudinal study:
- Individuals who became members of the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks Hospital between 1996 and 1998 comprised the Wellness Institute sample.
- The Community Comparison sample was made up of individuals, matched with the Wellness Institute sample on age category, gender and area of residence, who were not members of the Wellness Institute.
To date, interview data have been collected from these two groups of Winnipeg residents at four periods of time:
Links With Formal Health Care Data:
- Phase One (baseline data collection), 1998–1999
- Phase Two (short-term follow up), 2002–2003
- Phase Three (long-term follow up), 2006–2008
- Phase Four (long-term follow up), 2010–2011
The Province of Manitoba provides universal health care to its residents, and extensive databases on the use of Medicare (physician and hospital services) and Pharmacare (prescription drug coverage) are maintained. Some of this information (for the period 1994–2000) was made available in aggregate form to the WISER Program at the end of Phase Two.
Information on the number of physician visits, number and length of hospital stays, and prescription drug costs were obtained from Manitoba Health for the individuals who participated in both Phase One and Phase Two surveys, and who provided written consent for this information to be accessed. These data were linked to the interview data to facilitate the examination of the impact of health protective behaviours on the use of formal health care services.
In Phase Three of the WISER Program, additional health service utilization data (e.g., physician visits, hospital stays and prescribed medication) will be obtained for the period 2000–2010.
In Summary,the WISER Program has gathered data from:
- Intake and assessment information for Wellness Institute members, obtained from Wellness Institute membership records (completed 1999);
- Personal interviews with 2034 members of the Wellness Institute, conducted in 1998–1999 (Phase One, baseline), and (Phase Two) follow-up interviews with 500 continuing Wellness Institute members in 2002;
- Telephone interviews were conducted in 2002 (Phase Two) with 500 former members of the Wellness Institute, who had participated in Phase One, to assess differences between individuals who maintained their membership and those who terminated their membership at the Wellness Institute;
- Personal interviews with 1901 members of the Community Comparison group, conducted in 1999–2000 (Phase One, baseline), and (Phase Two) follow-up interviews with 500 of these individuals in 2003.
Interview data were then linked with selected aspects of Manitoba Health administrative data (i.e., physician visits, hospital stays and
The following illustration outlines the data collection components for Phase One and Phase Two of the WISER Program in more detail. For more information about the study, click on the desired component. For a printable, PDF format of this illustration, please click here.
In Phase Three of this longitudinal research program, additional data was collected from
- Personal interviews with 1015 members of the Wellness Institute and the Community Comparison group (over the age of 45 years) who participated in the earlier phases of the study. Stability and change in personal health practices and health status will be assessed and neighbourhood/community factors that influence healthy, active aging will be explored.
- Manitoba Health administrative data on physician visits (e.g., date, type), hospital stays (e.g., date, length, diagnosis) and prescribed medication (e.g., date, cost) for the period 2000-2010.
To view an illustration on how Phase Three relates to Phases One and Two, please click here.
In Phase Four of this longitudinal research program, additional data has been collected from
- Personal interviews with 341 members of the Wellness Institute and the Community Comparison group (over the age 65 years) who participated in Phase Three of the study. Stability and change in personal health practices and health status will continue to be assessed; neighbouring/community factors that influence healthy, active aging are continuing to be explored.