Alex Segall
Alexander Segall, Ph.D.


Ph.D., Sociology, University of Toronto , 1972

M.A., University of Manitoba , 1967

B.A., University of Manitoba , 1965

Teaching Areas: 

Sociology of Health and Illness
Sociology of Health Care
Sociology of Mental Disorder

Research Interests: 

Social Determinants of Health Status
Self-Health Management and Health Protective Behaviour
Population Health Assessment
Health Promotion Program Evaluation

Current Research:

 I am the Principal Investigator on a multidisciplinary, longitudinal population health promotion research program at the University of Manitoba entitled the Wellness Institute Services Evaluation Research (WISER) Program. The general objective of this research program is to gain a better understanding of the social determinants of population health and the factors that keep Canadians healthy. More specifically, the WISER Program was designed to assess whether community-based health promotion programs such as those offered by the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg , Manitoba are an effective means of encouraging the adoption of wellness oriented lifestyle behaviours and ultimately improving the health of the population.

The first phase of the WISER Program officially started in January 1998. The major components of this complex, ongoing study consist of:

•  Phase One (1998-2001)

Wellness Institute Member Survey – extensive personal interviews were conducted with 2034 members of the Wellness Institute in 1998-99 to collect baseline information about their health behaviours and health status;

Wellness Institute Members Intake Database - intake and assessment information was extracted from the Wellness Institute membership records in 1999 including health history, lifestyle profile and reasons for joining the Wellness Institute;

Community Comparison Group Survey – extensive personal interviews were conducted in 1999-2000 with 1901 Winnipeg residents (who were matched to Wellness Institute members on gender, age group and area of residence) to collect comparable health behaviour and health status information.


•  Phase Two (2002-2006)

Wellness Institute Continuing Member Follow-up Survey - in 2002, personal interviews were conducted with 500 members of the Wellness Institute (who had participated in the baseline member survey and maintained their membership at the Wellness Institute) to assess stability and change in health related lifestyle practices and health status over time.

 Wellness Institute Former Member Follow-up Survey - in 2002, telephone interviews were conducted with 500 former members of the Wellness Institute (who had participated in the baseline member survey) to assess differences between individuals who maintained their membership and those who terminated their membership at the Wellness Institute.

 Community Comparison Group Follow-up Survey - in 2003, personal interviews were conducted with a matched sample of 500 Winnipeg residents (who had participated in the baseline community comparison group survey) to facilitate a comparative analysis of the health status of members of the Wellness Institute and the general community.

Linkage of Survey Data and Manitoba Health Administrative Data - the final

component of data collection involves linking baseline and follow-up interview data with selected aspects of Manitoba Health hospital, medical and Pharmacare claims data. In 2004, Manitoba Health extracted and released health care utilization data for 1320 Phase Two WISER study participants who had provided signed consent to have their interview data linked with their Manitoba Health utilization data. The health care utilization data covers a five year period and includes: Medical Claims data - number of services rendered by physician by specialty; Hospital Claims data - number of hospital stays, average length of stay, and number of day surgeries; and Pharmacare data - annual prescription drug costs. The linked data will facilitate analyses of changes over time in the use of formal health care services by continuing and former members of the Wellness Institute, as well as the Community Comparison Group (of Winnipeg residents).

•  Data Analyses Plans

Over the next several years, research activities will focus on data analysis and dissemination of findings. For example, this will include:

•  on-going cross-sectional analysis of Phase One databases and between sample comparisons of Wellness Institute and Community Comparison respondents;

•  between sample comparisons of current and former Wellness Institute members at Phase Two;

•  longitudinal analysis of (1) within sample comparisons using Wellness Institute Member Phase One and Phase Two databases (including both continuing and former members); and (2) within sample comparisons using Community Comparison Group Phase One and Phase Two databases;

•  longitudinal analysis of changes in health care utilization patterns for Wellness Institute members and Community Comparison group respondents.

Recent Publications:

Bailis, D., and Segall, A. (2004) Self-determination and social comparison in a health promotion setting, Basic and Applied Social Psychology , 26: 25-33.

Bailis, D., Segall, A., and Chipperfield, J. (2003) Two views of self-rated general health status, Social Science and Medicine , 56: 203-217.

Bailis, D., Segall, A., Mahon , M., Chipperfield, J. and Dunn, E. (2001) Perceived control in relation to socioeconomic and behavioural resources for health, Social Science and Medicine , 52: 1661-1676.

Segall, A. and Chappell, N. (2000) Health and Health Care in Canada . Toronto , Ontario: Prentice