New study by Fraser Health focuses on South Asians and clinical prevention services



FRASER Health has started a new research project intended to engage in a dialogue with South Asian community members who are 40 years or older about how they can maintain and improve their health.  Clinical prevention includes a range of activities that are recommended to help prevent illness or find it earlier so that it is more treatable and has less of an impact on people’s lives.  They are activities that you do with your health care provider such as immunization, screening, preventative medication and lifestyle counselling. As many chronic diseases share common and modifiable risk factors, a cost-effective delivery of priority clinical prevention services should reduce the burden of disease and the resulting demand for health care, thereby enhancing the sustainability of our health care system.

Research shows that ethnic minorities are less likely to access clinical prevention services but there is little information about how health care providers can make these services more acceptable and accessible for people with diverse backgrounds. Given the size of the South Asian population in Surrey and their higher risk for both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, Fraser Health recognizes the need for research on tailoring prevention to meet the needs of South Asian communities.

Some of the specific topics to be addressed in the research include: blood pressure, alcohol use, cholesterol, mammograms, colorectal exams and pap smears. Research findings are intended to inform existing and emerging programs by providing insight about how information and services can be tailored to meet the values and needs of South Asian populations.

The research team consists of Dr. Victoria Lee, Executive Medical Director and Medical Health Officer with Fraser Health’s Population and Public Health; Fraser Health’s Dr. Arun Garg, Program Medical Director with Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, and Medical Director with the South Asian Health Institute; Dr. Kendall Ho, Director, eHealth Strategy Office, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia; Gary Thandi, Executive Director, Genesis Family Empowerment Society; and Rachel Douglas, Project Coordinator, Clinical Prevention Population and Public Health, Fraser Health Authority.

The proposed project will address the following research question: “What are the barriers and facilitators to clinical prevention uptake for the South Asian population?” with the purpose of identifying effective methods to increase the uptake of clinical prevention services.

“South Asian communities are diverse, and their needs are diverse,” states research team member Gary Thandi. “Such research can significantly increase our knowledge of both the barriers and opportunities that exist when reaching out to South Asian communities.”

To learn more about the project, call 778-321-3054 or email

Interested participants over the age of 40 will be asked to talk about their ideas in small groups, and will receive a $20 gift card for their participation. Parking and childcare is provided.