Population Health

Improving substance use care for gay, lesbian and bisexual youth in British Columbia

Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth (GLBY) are at increased risk of experiencing substance use disorders (SUD) in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts. The aim of Dr. Ferlatte’s research is to identify the factors associated with SUD experienced by GLBY to inform interventions.

This will include:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Population-level impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) direct-acting antiviral therapies on extrahepatic manifestations

Hepatitis C virus is an important public health concern in Canada; however, there is limited information concerning the impact of new direct-acting antiviral therapies on manifestations outside the liver (extrahepatic manifestations, or EHMs), including chronic diseases, cancers, and health-care resource utilization in Canada.

This knowledge is important, as new HCV treatments are generally restricted to those with advanced liver disease and there are no estimates of the reductions in EHMs that can be achieved with expansion of therapy.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

3, 2, 1... Might one dose of HPV vaccine be enough to prevent HPV-associated cancer?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a prerequisite for the development of cervical cancer. Screening for cervical cancer after HPV infection is possible by cervical smear testing, and since 2006 direct prevention of HPV infection has been available in the form of three different vaccines.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Optimizing PrEP and TasP adherence among substance using gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men

While increased access to HIV treatment and other health services has contributed to significant declines in HIV among several key populations in British Columbia (BC), it is estimated that as many as 1 in 6 gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Studying the role of modifiable risk factors: Nutrition and body weight for the prevention of cancer

Nearly half of Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their life. Healthy eating, a healthy body weight, and regular physical activity can prevent one-third of cancers. Yet, many Canadians do not engage in these lifestyle behaviours. New approaches to improve diet-cancer research are needed to move the field forward and reduce the burden of cancer on Canadians.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Predicting depressive symptoms during the transition to high school

The transition to high school is a challenging developmental period, during which prevalence rates of depression more than double. In fact, by the end of the first year of high school, 11.5% of adolescents will have experienced a depressive episode in the last year, and many more adolescents will have experienced elevated depressive symptoms that interfere with school performance, social friendships, or physical health.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A program of research on criminalization of sexuality, HIV and incarceration among marginalized women

Marginalized women (trans inclusive) living with and affected by HIV are disproportionately criminalized. This research will establish an empirical evidence base that documents the lived-experiences of criminalization and incarceration among sex workers and women living with HIV. The ultimate goal is to inform evidence-based law reform and interventions to redress over criminalization and negative effects of incarceration.

The objectives of this research program are to:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

A causal inference framework for analyzing large administrative healthcare databases with a focus on multiple sclerosis

Provincial health authorities routinely collect patient information on a massive scale, but health researchers face the challenge of exploring cause-and-effect relationships using these non-randomized population-based data sources. Machine learning methods are increasingly used to analyze these large datasets, although they do not inherently take causal structures (i.e., how the variables affect each other) into consideration and may lead to less-than-optimal or even erroneous conclusions.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

Mental health trajectories of immigrant and refugee children: An ecological population-based approach

Canada's immigrant and refugee population is growing rapidly, representing over 20% of the population. Despite the significance for Canadian society, little is known about mental health and risk factors among immigrant and refugee children and youth. Such knowledge is, however, critical to understand how we can support them in adapting to Canada, and enhance their well-being.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2018

The real-world effectiveness of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment on decompensated cirrhosis and hospitalizations

Between 230,000 to 450,000 Canadians are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Most of these people were infected decades ago and remained untreated due to the severe side effects and low effectiveness of interferon-based treatment regimens. Therefore, HCV associated liver related morbidity and mortality are now on the rise, with substantial impact on health care utilization. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

The role of material security in improving health for people who use illicit drugs

It is well known that an adequate and secure income promotes health. However, material security (e.g., housing, food, and service access) may operate distinctly from income security, particularly for people who use illicit drugs, whose ongoing need to acquire drugs may affect the degree to which income security translates into material security and subsequent health improvements. Nevertheless, material security and its relationship with health are not well understood, an important oversight in research among people who use illicit drugs (PWUD). 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Can specialized sexual health clinics address unmet mental health needs of sexual minorities?

Gay, lesbian and bisexual (GLB) Canadians are at higher risk of depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use problems and suicide attempts, but there are few places where these mental health needs can be met in a way that is mindful of the judgment GLB people may fear on the basis of their sexuality. Many sexual health clinics already serve as GLB-sensitive points of care for diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Early-life environmental exposures and development of childhood asthma

In Canada, a striking 13% of children (~500,000) have asthma. It is the leading cause of absenteeism from school, and accounts for more than 30% of Canadian health care billings for children. Asthma is also the leading cause of hospital admissions in both children and the general Canadian population. Given that asthma typically begins in childhood and lasts throughout life, the high prevalence, combined with significant related morbidity, make asthma the most common and burdensome chronic non-communicable disease affecting young Canadians. 

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Partners: 
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Addressing HIV/AIDS, sexual health, and substance use among gay and other men who have sex with men

New HIV diagnoses are 71 times higher among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) than other men in Canada. Since 2010, BC has adopted Treatment as Prevention (TasP) as a policy to increase HIV testing and engage more HIV-positive individuals in effective treatment to reduce transmission at a population level. However, the number of new diagnoses among GBM in BC has remained largely unchanged. Further, surveillance shows an increase of HIV diagnoses among the youngest birth cohorts of GBM.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017

Improving substance use treatment trajectories for men who have sex with men

British Columbia is currently in the process of developing and implementing new evidence-based policies and clinical reforms to address problematic substance use, including new: (i) pharmacotherapy approaches (e.g., replacement therapies); (ii) clinical practice guidelines; and (iii) integrated service delivery models of care.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2017
Health Category: 

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