Health Services

Costs and benefits of tumour testing to improve cancer prevention and survival

Women who inherit a BRCA gene mutation are at high risk for breast cancer and the most lethal type of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSC).

A woman diagnosed with HGSC has a 20% chance of unknowingly carrying a BRCA mutation, and is eligible for genetic testing. Getting a blood sample to do genetic testing in this woman is critical, because if she is found to have a BRCA mutation: 1) her relatives (daughters, sisters) can be tested, and HGSC can be PREVENTED in them, and 2) she herself can be treated with PARP inhibitors that can improve survival.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Out-of-hospital-cardiac arrest: Care gaps and opportunities to improve long-term survival

Out-of-hospital-cardiac arrest (OHCA) affects 40,000 Canadians per year. Cardiac arrest is the sudden loss of heart beating, and can occur in people with or without known heart disease. In British Columbia (BC), only 15% of these patients live (50% die before hospital, 35% die in hospital), less than 50% receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and only 3% receive bystander automatic external defibrillation. Due to a lack of connected data, little is known about the effect of treatments on long term survival, brain function and quality of life after leaving hospital.

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Can Blending Western and Traditional Knowledge Improve Diabetes and Obesity Health in Urban Indigenous Communities?

Indigenous peoples in Canada suffer from significantly higher rates of diabetes and obesity, resulting in reduced quality of life. There is often a lack of Traditional knowledge and community leadership within health, government, and community organizations. The impact of Western care services on improving health are often limited, whereas inclusion of Indigenous community-led care services has shown to improve health. Our current study will co-develop, co-implement, and co-evaluate locally-informed, culturally relevant diabetes and obesity programs in six urban/rural Indigenous Centres.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Improving the methods of economic evaluation to support decision-making: CAR-T, uncertainty, and real-world evidence

The emergence of novel technologies in health care is associated with promising opportunities to improve patient health outcomes. Advances in health technologies also come at a substantial cost. New gene therapies have been estimated to cost between $300,000-$4,000,000 per patient. These new therapies offer promise, but do not offer certainty; decision-makers have to choose whether to reimburse the therapy with little evidence for how it might work in the real-world.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Value Judgments in Health Economics Modelling for Primary Care: Towards Patient and Public Partnership in BC

In scientific research, many decisions are needed. Some take scientific expertise, but others take knowing what people find important. Such 'value judgments' include: choosing a topic and how to study it, setting goals, and deciding how to share results.

Patients and the public can inform value judgments in research by being partners and sharing what is most important to them, including

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Evaluating gender-sensitive interventions for people who use drugs in the context of British Columbia’s overdose crisis

The drug overdose crisis has been hardest felt in BC. Research has shown that gender plays a key role in shaping contexts of drug use (e.g., within sex work, intimate partnerships) and access to treatment and harm reduction services. Women access treatment with more severe drug-related profiles relative to men (e.g. violence/trauma), yet few services are women-centred. New Vancouver Coastal Health guidelines highlight grave gaps in supports and prevention for marginalized women, and several new models of care are being rolled out (e.g., women-only consumption rooms).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Examining how contextual factors and health equity considerations shape the implementation of an internet-based testing service for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections

This study will examine how organizations are able to roll-out and improve GetCheckedOnline (GCO), an internet-based testing service for sexually and blood transmitted infections currently available in British Columbia.

Using the research approach of institutional ethnography, this study aims:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Health, Work and Society: Improving Health Economic Evaluations

Decision makers need to decide how to best allocate limited societal and healthcare resources to fund different healthcare services. Health economic evaluation is a tool commonly used to inform these types of funding decisions; however, which costs to consider in economic evaluation can have a significant impact on the resulting funding decision. A societal perspective considers costs within the formal healthcare sector (e.g., physician, hospital and drug costs) as well as costs outside the healthcare sector (e.g., work productivity costs of patients and their family caregivers).

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Precision medicine to drive prevention and management strategies for women with endometrial cancer

Endometrial cancer (EC), or cancer of the uterus, is the most common gynecological cancer in Canada, with new cases and deaths increasing annually, due to an increase in the rate of common risk factors, like obesity. In British Columbia, the number of new EC cases is projected to increase by 50% and mortality to double by 2031. We must investigate economically feasible prevention strategies to control the rate of this cancer.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Exploring Novel Approaches to Reduce the Prevalence of Depression

Depression has recently become the leading cause of disability, worldwide. It affects one out of every 20 Canadians, causing significant suffering to patients and their families and costing the economy CAD$32.3 billion each year. Previous efforts to address the burden of disease caused by depression have mostly been focused on expanding access to mental health services.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Implementation of Shared Decision Making to Improve Person- and Family-Centred Care

The healthcare system is undergoing a paradigm shift toward person- and family-centred care. While this is a critical priority, it will be challenging to put into practice. One strategy to implement this change is shared decision-making (SDM), a process that supports patients and providers to discuss the risks and benefits of options, clarify preferences, and make choices based on their informed values. Knowledge translation and implementation science (KT/IS) are key approaches for accelerating this system change.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Strengthening primary care through population-based research

Primary care includes the day-to-day services provided by family doctors, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers. High quality primary care that follows patients over time and coordinates specialist and hospital care is key to an effective and efficient health care system. Unfortunately, many Canadians struggle to get primary care where and when they need it, despite there being more family doctors per person than ever before.

My research program seeks to answer the following questions:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Improving microbial outbreak responses through integration of knowledge engineering and bioinformatics platform development

Infectious diseases remain a serious and constant threat despite the high standards of sanitation and health care enjoyed by the British Columbians. Moreover, British Columbians, living in a major port of entry to Canada, face an increased risk of contact with emerging infectious diseases as exemplified by SARS. An effective disease surveillance system requires multiple health organizations to work together and share information with each other.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Understanding service use decision-making and improving engagement among youth and young adults with mental health disorders

This program of research will seek to understand how youth and young adults (YYA) with mental health (MH) disorders make decisions about seeking MH services at YYA centres such as Foundry BC. Foundry BC provides health and wellness services to YYAs through integrated service care in communities across BC. Nearly 75% of MH disorders develop before the age of 25, yet less than 20 percent of Canadian YYAs receive appropriate treatment. This can cause serious problems such as relapse, rehospitalisation, increased suicide risk, and can interrupt critical identity development.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

The impact of opioid agonist treatment on antipsychotic adherence among justice-involved patients in British Columbia

Substance dependence and mental illness frequently co-occur, presenting challenges to treatment providers and increasing the likelihood of suicide, drug overdose, and criminal justice involvement. Assessment and treatment of concurrent disorders (CD) have been identified by police, health professionals, and the Auditor General as urgent priorities in BC, and leadership in the treatment of CD is integral to the mandate of the Provincial Health Services Authority. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

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