ICAN Discussion Aid

ICAN is a clinical encounter discussion aid that is designed to help patients and health professionals discuss areas of the patient’s life and issues in treatment for context-centered care. It promotes consideration of the ways in which life, the pursuit of health, and healthcare interact. It does so by creating a conversation that: shifts the focus from the medical condition of the person to their situation in life, identifies what the person values doing and being, explores how healthcare and other resources serve or limit this person, and recognizes and cultivates opportunities to advance the person and their situation. By doing so, ICAN seeks to create treatment plans that minimize treatment burden and are feasible for patients and their caregivers to implement, identifies places in which capacity could be bolstered by additional resources, and uncovers areas in which patients’ have untapped capacity.

The Basics

Download the aid, free to use, here.

You can see how to use ICAN in the following three videos:


  • Coaching capacity at the VA – interview
  • A clinician’s perspective – interview with Dr. Summer Allen and Kasey Boehmer

Learn more

ICAN was developed using a rigorous, user-centered design process that included observations and prototyping in a range of settings with a variety of health professionals (primary care clinicians, specialists, nurses, wellness coaches, and community health workers), making its use broadly applicable. Its design is also supported by a systematic review of the qualitative literature, which sought to better understand the experiences of patients where they struggled to access and use healthcare or enact self-care.

  • Paper on the development of ICAN
  • Paper on the underpinning Theory of Patient Capacity
  • Paper on Capacity Coaching
  • Video on Capacity Coaching

Tell us your ICAN story

ICAN may be used in a variety of settings to support context-centered patient care. We are still learning all the ways in which it can be used, and love to hear stories. Tell us about how you have found ICAN useful.



Email: kerunit@mayo.edu  |   Twitter: @kerunit

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