A Person-Centered Approach  that Changes the Conversation

For decades, doctors have basically told patients what they should do. And part of why we have such low engagement rates is that while there’s some overlap between that and the patient’s own goals, in many cases I suspect doctors don’t really work that hard to figure out what the patient’s goals are.”  

Kevin Volpp MD, NEJM Catalyst


The Flinders Program is the evolution of 20 years of human behavior research led by Dr. Malcolm Battersby and his team of researchers in the Flinders Human Behaviour & Health Research Unit (FHBRU)  at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. FHBRU was originally established to provide support and training for service coordinators and general practitioners during the South Australia HealthPlus Trial, 1997-1998. This trial ambitiously enrolled 3,100 clients into its interventions arm.

The Flinders Program tools were developed in response to the outcomes of this trial, and their continued refinement was supported by funding from the Australian Government. Over the following decade, the research and clinical use of the Flinders Program became an internationally recognized approach for managing chronic conditions within primary care by systematically identifying specific barriers and what goals are most important to the person. It includes a versital set of tools and processes that support people to more effectively self-manage any condition or combination of conditions. The videos below capture the outcomes of this innovative and powerful work.

Dr. Krista Hirschmann, was introduced to this work in 2004, worked towards her Master Trainer certification and continued to collaborate with the Flinders Program by leading US workshops and pilot programs, along with Katrina Fritz, who is an Accredited Trainer. These include using telehealth software to effectively conduct the interview, as well as embedding the Flinders Program as a complementary resource for a medical weight management program.

Doctor Wearing White Coat Meeting With Female Patient

What Makes the Flinders Program Unique? 

Versatile. It can be used with ANY chronic condition or combination of conditions.

Structured. Almost anyone can be trained through this course.

Person-Centered. Starts with issues truly important to the person and

does not assume what goals are best for them. 

Care Plan. Every plan is designed from the person’s perspective with realistic and activating goals that meet their needs and create ownership.

Connection. New understandings and partnerships are reached between caregivers and patients. 


Motivated business team join hands palms together, giving high five. Successful teamwork and help support unity in common goal achievement

Have questions? See videos below or

Contact us directly to learn more and discuss what you hope to accomplish.

Hear how patients using the Flinders Program™ acquire a new set of skills to help them take control of their illnesses and their lives. Professor Malcolm Battersby reveals how patients have benefitted from the Flinders Program medically, socially and psychologically.

Learn more about the Flinders Program.

What Our Workshop Participants Say

“Flinders is going well . . . . We have created care plans for over 30 patients.  These care plans were vital to our brand new PCMH Level 3 Recognition . . . we got 92 out of 100 points!”

Federally Qualified Health Center targeting Super Utilizers

“I have to tell you the team members that have used the Flinders model with their patients have had excellent results and are surprised every time how this method works.” 

Manager, Care Management Program targeting high-risk patients

“We are very excited and love working with the Flinders Model.”

Division of Neuropsychology, UCLA, targeting cocaine recovery

“I have to credit Flinders with my successful transition to a much happier situation. In short, though I came to the course to help others make the changes that they needed to make in their lives, I have instead used the course to help me make the changes that I needed to make in my own.”

Family Medicine Physician

What People with Chronic Conditions Say

“Talking helped see the bigger picture . . . Gave me a sense of direction and where to go.”

“Breaks things down . . It was so wonderful.”

“Informative . . . Helped to pinpoint the issues.”

 “Worth the time.”

“Everyone should have the chance to do this.”

Here are two examples of major national programs recently run by Flinders Human Behaviour & Health Research Unit, which demonstrate how the Flinders tools can be adopted for targeted populations. The first program is the Coordinated Veterans' Care Program. Funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs it supported veterans in the community with complex and chronic conditions at risk of hospitalisation. The second program is the Flinders Closing the Gap Program™. The key element is the revised Flinders tools which are featured in booklet form that are adaptable by the health pracitioner and the patient.