Q. What is Calibre?
A. Calibre is a hybrid online CME that combines learn-as-you-go content with live workshops. It was developed through a partnership among Obesity Canada, the European Association for the Study of Obesity and the Canadian Society of Endocrinology and Metabolism. Course content was put together by a blue-chip panel of Canadian and global obesity clinicians and researchers, many of them authors of the Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs). Patients with lived experience also contributed their expertise to the program.
Q. Does Calibre focus only on bariatric surgery?
A. Calibre is not just about surgery! The Calibre program focuses on the patient journey from having a conversation about weight to assessment, available treatment options, to goal setting and follow-up.
Q. How does Calibre relate to the Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines?
A. Calibre uses the evidence and clinical recommendations outlined in the Canadian Adult Obesity Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs), along with the clinical and research expertise of the program’s faculty, to underpin the practical advice for healthcare providers that’s offered through the program.
Q.What need did you see to develop the Calibre program?
A. While obesity is a chronic disease, it is not a heterogenous one – how it develops and how it can be successfully managed are not the same for everyone who lives with it. Calibre reinforces the new definition of obesity, where excess or abnormal fat accumulation affects one’s health; it’s not about size, BMI or a number on the scale, but about objective health measures. In other words, you don’t have obesity just because you live in a larger body – it’s only when weight affects health, such as having high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. that one can be diagnosed with obesity.
Healthcare practitioners in Canada and globally typically receive little to no education or training in obesity management, and so professional education is a core activity for Obesity Canada. Obesity Canada administered two needs assessment surveys: one for professionals to determine what gaps there are and one for the public to identify resources that are helpful in managing and discussing their obesity. As well, the guidelines are a comprehensive synthesis of all aspects of obesity prevention and treatment – more than 500,000 peer reviewed papers were assessed in the process of making the guidelines’ 19 chapters. Calibre streamlines the clinical knowledge and tools needed to support patients living with obesity, in a practical but thorough format designed to build clinicians’ confidence in treating obesity in collaboration with their patients.
Q. How is Calibre different from existing obesity management courses?
A. Calibre covers a lot of material in a manageable amount of time – roughly half of the course is learn-as-you-go videos and self-directed reading, but we include three, two-hour live online workshops so that participants can learn with their peers and from our expert faculty. Calibre aims to provide practical, hands-on knowledge and skills with a focus on providing patient-centred care – meaning setting goals, choosing treatments and supports, adjusting treatment plans and following up in a care plan that has patients’ input and buy-in. The message in Calibre is the message in the CPGs – treatment for obesity is not solely about weight loss, but rather on improving health measures and quality of life so that patients can live their best life. No treatment or combination of treatments are right for every individual, and so Calibre will help clinicians work with patients to identify drivers of obesity and possible ways to address them, while setting realistic goals to improve health and wellbeing.
Q. How did people living with obesity contribute to this program?
A. Obesity Canada recognizes the importance of the lived experience and similar to the work on the CPGs, the perspectives of people living with obesity are central to CALIBRE. Through OC’s Director of Advocacy and Public Engagement, we tap into our patient community for input, feedback and participation in all of our projects including CALIBRE. Individuals living with obesity were involved throughout all stages of the development of this program. People with obesity participated in reviewing all content and presentations, providing feedback and developing and reviewing resources for patients that are included in this training for healthcare professionals. Individuals living with obesity also provided videos that are included in each module, so that the content is centered on real-life lived experiences.
Q. How many people living with obesity were involved and in what capacity?
A. There were 7 individuals living with obesity, representing our patient community (more than 2500) were directly involved in the development of this program. Reviews and feedback were provided on all presentations (both recorded and live session), online content, developed resources (both professional and public), case studies, attended scientific planning committee meetings and provided lived experience perspectives to be included in the training modules.