Connections >> August 2012

27 August 2012

Connections is MSFHR’s monthly e-newsletter. Each issue highlights the top MSFHR news from the past month and showcases the impact of research we’ve funded.

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In this issue:


Research Roundup

MSFHR and CIHR-funded project examines how seniors navigate long-term care system

A University of Victoria research team has been jointly funded by MSFHR and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to study how older adults and their families transition to long-term care settings.

HSPRSN Partnership Awards

We are accepting applications for the 2012 Health Services and Policy Research Support Network Partnership Awards. These awards provide matching funds up to $100,000 to BC researchers applying to peer-reviewed national or international competitions. A total of $226,000 is available for the 2012 competition. The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. (PDT) on September 17, 2012.

CIHR will host a webinar on September 12 for researchers interested in applying to the CIHR Partnerships for Health System Improvement (PHSI) awards. The webinar is available in English and French and will provide an overview of the current PHSI funding opportunity and tips for success.

BC health research strategy update

The BC health research strategy development is on track to meet its preliminary planning phase deliverables. The planning team has prepared a project charter, developed draft communications and government relations plans, and conducted 60 key informant interviews to help shape the consultation plan for the project. These interviews were designed to seek opinions on a working definition of health research, the purpose of a health research strategy, core components of the strategy, and critical success factors.

On August 23, the project advisory board met for the first time for an orientation to the project and a briefing on the themes that emerged to date from the key informant interviews. The board meets again in September to prepare for phase two of the project — consultation — planned to start this fall. A report from the key interviews, which will inform the consultation, will be released in September.

To learn more about the project, contact Bev Holmes, VP, External Relations & Business Strategy or Balraj Bains, Business Strategy.

Knowledge translation survey highlights wide range of KT needs in BC

MSFHR staff has spent the summer analyzing the information gathered from BC’s health research community as a result of the online survey of knowledge translation (KT) training and resource needs conducted earlier this year. While the final report will be available for download from MSFHR’s website in the near future, we wanted to share the report highlights with our readers. In general, the results indicate there is high interest in learning more about KT, but existing training and resources may not be sufficient to meet current needs, and time and cost constraints make training a challenge.

Highlights include:

  • Overall, nearly 80% of respondents are interested in learning more about each KT skill. Research producers have higher interest in dissemination and general KT skills, while users are more interested in application and exchange skills.
  • On average, 46.5% of respondents require beginner-level training in KT skills compared to 22.5% needing advanced training. Higher rates of knowledge brokers, researchers and clinician-scientists require advanced-level training, while higher rates of health care providers need beginner-level training.
  • While over 70% of respondents agree that existing KT support (e.g. training, resources) is interesting, relevant and of high quality, fewer agree that KT support is accessible (55.6%), affordable (52.0%) and of sufficient amount (41.8%).
  • Time and cost constraints are the biggest barriers to participating in KT training workshops, with more respondents who have no support for travel and registration fees (55.4% and 44.6%) than those with support available. Clinician-scientists, health care providers and individuals in rural and remote settings more frequently reported no support than the overall results.
  • The biggest challenge to integrating KT into work is time, with 75.1% choosing four or five on a scale where five is a major barrier. In general, health care providers and administrators rated barriers higher than other professional groups.

Research Roundup

  • Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc
    A new study co-authored by Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc (2004 scholar) finds that more than 2 percent of teens who have tried alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs have exchanged sex for those substances. A significant majority of those who have traded sex live at home with family, including 83 percent of boys and 98 percent of girls. Saewyc says the findings suggest a need for further studies to track the effectiveness of sex-education programs and other prevention strategies. The study, published recently in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, analyzed survey data from more than 2,300 students in southeastern BC.
  • Drs. Marco Marra, Robert Holt, and Steven Jones
    BC Cancer Agency scientists, in partnership with researchers from cancer centres around the world, have identified four distinct subgroups of medulloblastoma, a common childhood brain cancer. The findings, published recently in the journal Nature, suggest the subtypes respond differently to chemotherapy, radiation, and drug therapy, opening the door to targeted treatments that are more precise and less toxic. Three MSFHR-supported researchers participated in the research: Dr. Marco Marra, Dr. Robert Holt and Dr. Steven Jones.Published in Nature (July 25, 2012)
    BC Cancer Agency press release (July 25, 2012)
  • Dr. Karin Humphries
    BC women under the age of 55 are more likely to die following a heart attack than men, according to research by Dr. Karin Humphries (2008 senior scholar, 2002 scholar). Humphries says heart disease in women is often misdiagnosed, and women are less likely to be prescribed heart medications when presented with symptoms. Her research aims to identify the psychosocial and physical factors that are driving increasing rates of heart disease among young women.
  • Dr. Nadia Khan
    Dr. Nadia Khan (2011 scholar, 2003 trainee) and colleagues at St. Paul’s Hospital have found heart attack rates are much higher in British Columbians of South Asian descent than in other ethnic communities. According to Khan’s research, South Asians younger than 55 are twice as likely as Caucasians to suffer a heart attack and ten times as likely as ethnic Chinese. However, individuals of Chinese descent are significantly more prone to strokes. The findings suggest a need for early screening and increased heart-health education in these communities.The Province (July 24, 2012)