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Michael Vallis - Diabetes Canada. Halifax, NS, CA

Michael Vallis Michael Vallis

Associate Editor | Diabetes Canada

Halifax, NS, CANADA

Dr. Michael Vallis is actively researching motivation, behavioural change, and adaptation to chronic disease.



Michael Vallis Publication



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Behaviour Change from a Psychology Perspective Dr. Michael Vallis on motivational interviewing The role of Health Coaches in behaviour change




Dr. Michael Vallis is a registered health psychologist practicing at the Capital Health, Halifax, and cross-appointed to Dalhousie University as Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor in Psychology and Health and Human Performance.

He obtained his Ph.D. and M.A from the University of Western Ontario, London, and his B. Sc. From Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is adult health psychology, with an emphasis on diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology.

He has developed the Behaviour Change Institute, a training program for lifestyle counselling skills for physicians, nurses, dietitians and other healthcare providers.

He regularly supervises clinical and academic students at Dalhousie and is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease.

He is an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Diabetes and Clinical Obesity, is the Canadian Lead for the Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs 2 study (DAWN2), is the Canadian Co-Lead and on the International Steering Committee of the IBD Connect project. He was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Industry Expertise (5)


Program Development

Health and Wellness

Public Policy

Training and Development

Areas of Expertise (8)


Mental Health

Behavioural Change

Diabetes and Mental Health

Chronic Disease


Cardiovascular Disease


Accomplishments (1)

Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (professional)


Awarded on the recommendation of the Canadian Diabetes Association for contributions to the CDA's work.

Education (2)

University of Western Ontario: Ph.D., Psychology

University of Western Ontario: M.A., Clinical Psychology

Affiliations (5)

  • Partners for Care : Co-Director
  • Canadian Obesity Network : Psychologist
  • Capital Health : Psychologist and Lead Behaviour Change Institute
  • Dalhousie University : Associate Professor Family Medicine and Psychiatry
  • Dalhousie University : Adjunct Professor Psychology and Health and Human Performance

Media Appearances (5)

Program helps people with diabetes

Leader Post  online


"We all know we need to eat well and exercise and take our medication. But, it's very hard for so many people. So, how do we stay on track?" About 250 people registered for the event, which included keynote speaker Michael Vallis, a psychology professor at Dalhousie...

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Why is change so hard when it comes to our health?

Calgary Herald  online


Earlier this year I attended a conference by Dr. Michael Vallis, registered psychologist and leader of the Behaviour Change Institute, who opened his session with the bold statement, “Healthy behaviour is abnormal behaviour.”...

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Canadian Diabetes Association highlights the latest in diabetes research

Canada NewsWire  online


Michael Vallis, PhD, R Psych (Halifax, Nova Scotia), addresses the emotional and psychological challenges of diabetes and the importance of understanding those challenges. Vallis' research shows that as many as 50 per cent of those diagnosed with diabetes experience "diabetes distress" as they manage the stress and emotion of living with the disease...

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Controversial anti-obesity ad garners mixed reaction in Halifax

Global News  online


But Dr. Michael Vallis, a health psychologist, said the ad is misguided. “The real power behind this message is fear. We know fear is a very poor motivator,” he said. “The problem here is when it describes the problem it seems to display all the problems being on the responsibility of the individual.” Vallis, who works with obese adults, said people struggling with it won’t find the commercial helpful...

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The Long Run

Dalhousie University  online


Motivation expert Michael Vallis say most people fall into a pattern. They start out with the best intentions and do well for a little while … but then fall back into old habits. It’s a classic health trap: two steps forward, three steps back...

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Articles (5)

Are Behavioural Interventions Doomed to Fail? Challenges to Self-Management Support in Chronic Diseases

Canadian Journal of Diabetes


The purpose of this article is to facilitate effective self-management support by encouraging providers to switch from a model of care based on the expert clinician encountering the uninformed help seeker (the biomedical model) to one guided by collaboration grounded in the principles of description, prediction and choice. Key to understanding the value of making this shift are patient-centered communication principles and the tenets of complexity theory.

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D-WISE: Diabetes Web-Centric Information and Support Environment: Conceptual Specification and Proposed Evaluation

Canadian Journal of Diabetes


We have been successful in creating and conducting a usability assessment of the physician decision support tool. These results will be published once the patient self- management application has been evaluated.

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Effect of implementing the 5As of Obesity Management framework on provider–patient interactions in primary care

Clinical Obesity


This study presents pilot data from the implementation and evaluation of an obesity management tool (5As of Obesity Management developed by the Canadian Obesity Network) in a primary care setting.

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Clinical review: modified 5 As: minimal intervention for obesity counseling in primary care.

Canadian family physician Médecin de famille canadien


The 5 As (ask, assess, advise, agree, and assist), developed for smoking cessation, can be adapted for obesity counseling. Ask permission to discuss weight; be nonjudgmental and explore the patient’s readiness for change. Assess body mass index, waist circumference, and obesity stage; explore drivers and complications of excess weight...

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Changes in diabetes self-care behaviors make a difference in glycemic control the diabetes stages of change (DiSC) study

Diabetes Care


This study compared diabetes Treatment As Usual (TAU) with Pathways To Change (PTC), an intervention developed from the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM), to determine whether the PTC intervention would result in greater readiness to change, ...

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