The increasing incidence of chronic diseases in the Canadian population represents one of the biggest challenges to Canada's healthcare system and its patient population. In 2005, more than one-third of Canadians were burdened with one or more chronic diseases (Broemeling et al. 2008). Moreover, it is estimated that, between 2005 and 2015, two million Canadians will die of causes related to a chronic disease at a cost of more than $9 billion (World Health Organization 2005). An aging population and improvements in the acute care of many diseases predicts that chronic diseases will continue to rise in the foreseeable future. This is a concern as those with a chronic disease use twice the amount of healthcare resources compared to the average adult and have hospital stays that are four times longer than those with acute conditions (Broemeling et al. 2005).
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