epidemiology

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.

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Year: 
2020

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.

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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).

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Year: 
2019

Protein-energy wasting: prevalence and treatment outcomes among patients with advanced chronic kidney disease in British Columbia

People with or approaching kidney failure requiring dialysis often develop protein-energy wasting (PEW), which is characterized by loss of body stores of protein and energy fuels, and is associated with increased risk of death, heart disease, infections, and poor quality of life. The extent of PEW, its consequences, and its management have not been previously characterized among kidney patients in Canada, yet nutritional management remains a top research priority from the patient perspective.

Primary Investigator: 
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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: 
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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.

Primary Investigator: 
Award Type: 
Year: 
2019

Adapting BC’s healthcare system for equitable and tailored service provision to sexual and gender minorities

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people face judgment and discrimination on the basis of their sexualities and genders. This leads many LGBTQ people to avoid seeking treatment from the healthcare system, to hide aspects of their sexuality/gender when seeking care, or to selectively visit LGBTQ-affirming providers.

The goal of this research program is to develop a comprehensive understanding of healthcare access patterns among LGBTQ people in BC.

Objectives:

Primary Investigator: 
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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: 
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Year: 
2018

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: 
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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.

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2018

Mifepristone outcomes study: Examining abortion access, outcomes, and costs following the introduction of mifepristone

Abortion is a common reproductive health procedure, with nearly one-third of women in Canada having had at least one abortion. However, abortion access is not equitable. Most abortions are surgical, and are provided in a small number of facilities located in BC’s largest cities. Some women, particularly those in rural or remote regions, experience significant wait times and must travel long distances to reach abortion services.

Primary Investigator: 
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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: 
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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: 
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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: 
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Year: 
2018

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

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