Monitoring Chronic Diseases in Canada - An Indicator Framework

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has developed, in consultation with key stakeholders, a Chronic Disease Indicator Framework. This framework aims to systematize and enhance chronic disease surveillance in Canada by improving access to current data and providing the basis for consistent and reliable information on chronic diseases and their risk factors and determinants. The framework and the methodology used to establish it are published in the peer reviewed article “Monitoring chronic diseases in Canada: the Chronic Disease Indicator Framework” as a supplement to the Chronic Diseases and Injuries in Canada (CDIC) Journal, Volume 34, Spring 2014. 

The Chronic Disease Indicator Framework consists of 41 indicators organized in a model comprising the following six core domains: 

  • Social and environmental determinants
  • Early life/childhood risk and protective factors
  • Behavioural risk and protective factors 
  • Risk conditions 
  • Disease prevention practices 
  • Health outcomes/status

The framework uses four guiding principles for the selection and reporting of indicators:

  • Life course approach – incorporation of indicators for the various stages of life;
  • Disease prevention - incorporation of a comprehensive approach including the broader determinants of health;
  • Health equity approach - incorporation of socioeconomic status;
  • Multi-morbidity - an independent predictor of adverse health outcomes, including decreased quality of life and increased health care costs. 

Figure 1: Life-Course Diagram

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The Framework, which will inform how the Public Health Agency of Canada reports on chronic diseases and their associated indicators in the future, will be available as an online tool by fall 2014 (in printable format as a Quick Stats pdf document).

Figure 2: Flow-chart of the Indicator Selection Process