Population Health

Advancing Health Equity Action

The trajectories of people's lives are often shaped by things that fall outside of their control, having more to do with unearned disadvantages than with their own behaviours or biology. Despite solid evidence and practical policy solutions, systematic differences in health and health outcomes persist both within and between countries. Evidence shows the distribution of power, resources, and wealth along social gradients are causes of these inequities.

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Award Type: 
Year: 
2020

A program of research on optimizing trauma-informed practice in sexual, reproductive and HIV-related health services among marginalized women

Marginalized cisgender (cis) and transgender (trans) women experience high levels of gender-based violence, defined as violence perpetrated against someone based on their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender, as well as multiple forms of stigma. With the overarching aim to optimize trauma- and violence-informed approaches to enhance access to sexual and reproductive care and HIV prevention and treatment, this research program aims to work closely with marginalized cis and trans women to:

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2020

Stress resilience across the adult lifespan: Linking dynamic day-to-day protective factors to aging and health

Canada is experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift with the aging of the population. Older adults face major stressors and life transitions (e.g., retirement, bereavement, caregiving), in addition to accumulated biological wear-and-tear due to a lifetime of exposure to stress.

Yet, the impacts of stress vary between people and across situations. It is therefore important to identify protective factors that may promote more adaptive stress responses, particularly in midlife and late adulthood when risks increase for aging-related diseases.

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Year: 
2020

Mental health in later life: A stakeholder-informed approach to health and technology interventions for older adults

Feeling down or worried happens to everyone, but for some people these feelings are very strong, long-lasting, and can be damaging to them and their families. Mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety, may include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, guilt, or even suicide. Worldwide, mental illness affects one in five people aged 60+.

Primary Investigator: 
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Year: 
2020

Investigating women's socio-structural risk environment of overdose

British Columbia, Canada, continues to grapple with an overdose epidemic. Substantial gaps remain in the implementation and scale up of overdose prevention strategies, including attention to gender equity. Little has been said regarding how marginalized women (trans inclusive) are impacted by the crisis, or how they might be differently navigating overdose risk environments or access to life-saving health services.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2020

Leveraging technology to support older persons in rural and northern communities through the Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North - CTAAN

Rural and northern areas in BC cover large areas and support more and more older adults. Older adults may face unique challenges due to the geography, population, and resource availability. These places commonly lag behind urban centers in accessibility to healthcare services, and face healthcare workforce shortages. Innovative solutions are urgently required to support older adults to age safely with quality healthcare services. Technology solutions to support older adults exist and continue to be developed.

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Year: 
2020
Partners: 

Characterizing the Psychological and Social Predictors of Increased Preventive Service Use

In the next 20 years, the percentage of adults aged ≥65 in Canada is projected to increase by nearly 60%, and among all Provinces British Columbia is aging the fastest. As our population ages, identifying factors that foster healthy aging is crucial for improving the health of older adults, and containing healthcare costs. One way to cultivate healthy aging is by increasing preventive service use (e.g., flu shots, screening for chronic conditions). Yet, <50% of  adults aged ≥65 are up-to-date with them.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2020

Healthy Children, Healthy Communities: Co-Benefits of Children’s Action on Climate Change and Mental Health

Problem: British Columbia is being increasingly impacted by climate change and therefore the health and wellbeing of children in this region are at risk, and will be throughout their lives unless action is taken.

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Year: 
2020

Towards TB elimination in Canada: Optimizing tuberculosis screening and prevention

The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to eliminate TB by 2050, but Canada is not on target to meet that goal. To reach our national TB elimination targets, we must reduce TB rates by 10% per year but we are only reducing TB rates by 2% per year. My research program is aimed at developing evidence to improve TB screening, prevention and treatment policies in order to accelerate TB elimination in British Columbia (BC) and Canada.  

Primary Investigator: 
Year: 
2019

Making Healthy Connections: A Critical Anti-Racist and Decolonizing Geography of Immigrant and Indigenous Relations in Northern British Columbia

While resources support immigrant well-being in urban settings in southern Canada, little research exists on recent immigrants in northern communities. Moreover, while new research is emerging about the health disparities of Indigenous communities in remote and rural settings, there is very little research that brings the question of immigrant and Indigenous relations together.

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Year: 
2019

Disease-modifying Drug Safety and Effectiveness in Multiple Sclerosis [DRUMS]

British Columbia (BC) and Canada have some of the world's highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS). The goal of this research is to find out how safe and effective the drugs used to treat MS are when used in the everyday, real world in BC and Canada.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

A Lifespan Approach Towards Understanding the Importance of Movement Skills for Health-Enhancing Physical Activity Participation

Participation in regular physical activity is associated with reduced risks of cardiovascular disease, overweight/obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, numerous cancers, mental and reproductive health problems, and osteoporosis. Yet, only 9% of Canadian children and adolescents and 20% of Canadian adults meet physical activity guidelines. An essential component of being active involves having the skills needed to successfully participate in an activity.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Investigating the impact of evolving cannabis access and use on high-risk drug use behaviours and addiction treatment

Cannabis remains the most widely produced, trafficked and consumed illicit drug worldwide, and at this time Canada and many other countries are implementing alternative regulatory approaches to cannabis. While research on cannabis has traditionally focused on the harms of cannabis use, an emerging body of evidence suggests that cannabis use can also alter high-risk drug practices, such as reducing cocaine use, opioid use and associated overdose.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Prevalence, patterns, and harms associated with the co-injection of illicit opioids and crystal methamphetamine

Crystal methamphetamine use is associated with a wide array of physical and social harms. In spite of this, its prevalence is rising in many parts of North America. Several small studies have suggested increasing rates of co-injection of methamphetamine and opioids, though no research has focused on the specific harms associated with this trend. In Vancouver, preliminary reports have noted a similar pattern, in a context where fentanyl has become the most widely used form of illicit opioid.

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Year: 
2019

Developing long-, short-, and near-term dynamic models of risk and resilience for intentional self-harm in BC youth

My research aims to answer two questions: when and under what circumstances do some young people intentionally physically harm themselves, and how can we improve our clinical tools to reduce these behaviours? Intentional self-harm is alarmingly prevalent in young British Columbians: around 5-7% of BC youth have attempted to end their own lives, 10-15% have experienced serious suicidal thoughts, and 15-18% have engaged in non-suicidal self-injury. These behaviours can have devastating impacts on youth, their families, and their communities.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

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