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CIHR Fall 2021 Project Grant Competition results announced

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The results of the CIHR’s Fall 2021 Project Grant Competition have just been announced. CHÉOS Scientists are leading nine of the projects funded in this round, plus a further eight projects are supported by CHÉOS Scientists as co-investigators.

Dr. Annalijn Conklin

Social connectedness is important for promoting health aging among Canadians. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Annalijn Conklin is leading research to assess changes in obesity and hypertension over time in women and men by types of social tie transitions, quantify how changes in different social ties impact these healthy aging indicators, and explore the role of financial autonomy in social connectedness and cardiovascular risk. The results will have implications for decision-makers who shape tailored, evidence-driven policies, services and programs that promote social connections and engagement among Canadians. CHÉOS Program Head of Cardiovascular Health Dr. Karin Humphries and Scientist Dr. Nadia Khan are co-investigators on this study.


Drs. Amy Salmon & Rick Sawatzky

Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are questionnaires that determine patients’ views about their own health. Most PROMs are designed to fit the most common views held by the majority of the population, but this means that perspectives of some people from diverse cultures, traditions, or life experiences may be missed. CHÉOS Program Head of Patient-Reported Outcomes Dr. Rick Sawatzky, Associate Director Dr. Amy Salmon, and colleagues are developing a cutting-edge online tool for tailored people-centred health measurement, called a mixture computerized adaptive test. This will enable “personalized” healthcare for each and every person. CHÉOS’ Drs. Anne Gadermann and Hubert Wong will act as co-investigators on this work.


Drs. Sean Barbour & Christopher Fordyce

Glomerulonephritis is a group of autoimmune diseases that attack the kidneys and is the second most common cause of kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant in Canada. People with glomerulonephritis have protein in the urine and declining kidney function, which are both strongly associated with cardiovascular risk. Yet, existing research on cardiovascular risk among individuals with glomerulonephritis is sparse. CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Sean Barbour and Christopher Fordyce are co-leading a three-year study to improve the prediction of cardiovascular risk in individuals with glomerulonephritis. They will also develop an app to facilitate clinician uptake of the updated prediction tool and help improve the clinical management of cardiovascular disease among individuals with glomerulonephritis.


Dr. Sarah Munro

Access to timely, effective, and affordable contraception is an ongoing challenge for youth in Canada. Uptake of highly effective, long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) is less than ten per cent overall in Canada. This rate is even lower among youth. However national clinical guidelines list LARC as the number one recommended contraceptive method for youth. Through their Contraception & Abortion Research Team, with established integrated knowledge translation partnerships in Canadian family planning practice and policy, CHÉOS Program Head of Knowledge Translation Dr. Sarah Munro is co-leading a project to provide action to support equitable contraceptive choice and access for youth in Canada. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Skye Barbic will be a co-investigator on this project.


Dr. Linda Li

Physical frailty is a medical condition of reduced function and health in older adults and it is linked to chronic conditions, such as heart disease, osteoarthritis, and type 2 diabetes. Physical activity can help to better manage chronic conditions and prevent frailty, but this older adult population is often not active enough. Physical activity counselling by a physiotherapist has been shown to help older adults with chronic conditions stay active. In a new project, CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Linda Li and her team will adapt this approach using the new Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for older adults at an early state of frailty and with chronic conditions. They will then investigate if this new approach is better at increasing the time older adults spend in physical activities than the current approach. CHÉOS’ Dr. Hubert Wong and Alison Hoens are co-investigators.


Dr. John Staples

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can cause severe problems with understanding the real world. These problems can in turn make it difficult to drive safely. Antipsychotic medications are prescribed by doctors to improve many symptoms of schizophrenia; however, a lot of people with schizophrenia do not take their medications as prescribed. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. John Staples is leading a study to determine if people with schizophrenia drive more safely when they are taking their antipsychotics as prescribed. The results will enable doctors to give the best possible advice about driving for people with schizophrenia, and will also inform rules that can prevent traffic injuries among people with schizophrenia and improve safety for everyone on the road.


Dr. Ricky Turgeon
Dr. Ricky Turgeon

Many people with heart failure are not aware of the medications available to treat it and subsequently do not receive the best medications for them. Decision aids can help inform patients about the options available to them so they can be better involved in decisions about their health. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Ricky Turgeon is leading a study with Dr. Mark Harrison to better understand what matters most to people with heart failure when making decisions about their medications, and how health care professionals can support these decisions. In addition to sharing the results with relevant stakeholders and patients, the findings will be used to develop a web-based decision aid for people with heart failure making medication decisions. Co-investigators on this study include CHÉOS’ Drs. Nick Bansback, Mary De Vera, and Beth Snow.


Dr. Najib Ayas

Sleep apnea is a prevalent chronic disease, commonly treated with positive airway pressure therapy (PAP). In June 2021, Philips Respironics, one of the largest PAP manufacturers in Canada, issued a recall notification related to irritant and toxic effects from the degradation of polyester-based polyurethane foam in most PAP devices distributed between 2009 and 2021. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Najib Ayas is co-leading an investigation into the health impacts associated with the use of PAP devices affected by the recall, how device recall impacts device users, health care providers, and sleep medicine health services, and strategies to help with future device recalls.


Dr. Bohdan Nosyk

Since 2016, more than 21,000 Canadians have died of an opioid overdose, with a current rate of 17 deaths per day. In B.C., rates of fatal and non-fatal overdoses hit record highs in 2020–21. Safer supply initiatives (in which people access pharmaceutical grade substances or a regulated supply) are one way that the government and communities are responding to this crisis. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Bohdan Nosyk is co-leading an evaluation of the ongoing implementation and outcomes of safer supply initiatives in B.C., including both prescriber-based and grassroots-led models. CHÉOS’ Kurt Lock is co-investigator.


CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Rita McCracken and Christian Schütz are co-investigators on a study that seeks to identify and characterize trends in prescription opioid tapering patterns, evaluate the impacts of opioid prescribing guidelines on tapering patterns, assess the effect of tapering on overdose and mortality, and understand the differences between those with and without concurrent opioid use disorder.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. John Staples is co-investigator on research that will provide an in-depth understanding of the risk of traffic injury, and severity of injuries, for marginalized people and neighbourhoods in B.C.

CHÉOS Program Head of Biostatistics Dr. Hubert Wong is co-investigator on a project testing two treatments of major depressive disorder, light therapy and negative ion therapy, to see if they can substitute for antidepressants to prevent relapse.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Sarah Munro and Program Head of Health Economics Dr. Wei Zhang are co-investigators on a project evaluating a cell phone text messaging program (SmartMom) that delivers prenatal education to pregnant Canadian women.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Rita McCracken is co-investigator on a study exploring how (intra- and inter-organizational) primary healthcare teams are formed, and how they evolve and adapt over time, to address the challenges of implementing and sustaining team models.

Long-term use of anti-rejection drugs following organ transplant is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. John Gill is co-investigator on a study investigating whether oral nicotinamide (500 mg twice daily) is effective and safe for preventing skin cancer among transplant patients.

CHÉOS Program Head of Decision Sciences Dr. Nick Bansback is co-investigator on a study developing a personalized decision tool to help patients choose between the multiple medication options currently available to treat joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.

CHÉOS Program Head of Clinical Trials Dr. Joel Singer is co-investigator on a randomized clinical trial that will determine whether two doses of nonavalent HPV vaccine can be used in women living with HIV instead of three, and will examine additional aspects of HPV vaccination in this population including safety, efficacy, and immune response.

See below for a full list of CHÉOS-related studies funded by the Fall 2021 Project Grant Competition.


Multiple social tie transitions and their impact on cardiometabolic risk factors in aging women and men (MORE)

Principal Investigator: Annalijn Conklin

Co-investigators: Zeinab Hosseini, Karin H Humphries, Nadia A Khan, Gerry D Veenstra


Novel methods for equitable people-centred health measurement

Principal investigators: Richard Sawatzky, Lena N Cuthbertson, Lisa M Lix, Maria Jose Parrilla Lopez, Amy L Salmon, Kara L Schick-Makaroff, Sandra Zelinsky, Bruno D Zumbo

Co-investigators: Marcia G Antonio, Steven R Clelland, Karen L Courtney, Carl F Falk, Felix Fischer, Anne M Gadermann, Chris Gibbons, Melanie Hawkins, Jeanette Jackson, Scott Klarenbach, Jacek A Kopec, Jae-Yung Kwon, Francis Lau, Juxin Liu, Joakim Öhlén, Andrew D Pinto, Pamela A Ratner, Lara B Russell, Tolulope T Sajobi, Jose M Valderas, Angela C Wolff, Hubert H Wong


Improving cardiovascular risk prediction in patients with glomerular disease

Principal investigators: Sean Barbour, Mark Canney, Christopher B Fordyce

Co-investigator: Michelle A Hladunewich


Storytelling about Options and Reproductive access for Youth (The STORY Project): A Pan-Canadian Integrated Knowledge Translation Study to Improve Contraception Health Services

Principal investigators: Sarah B Munro, Giuseppina Di Meglio, Wendy V Norman

Co-investigators: Skye P Barbic, Stephanie Begun, Amanda Black, Melissa Brooks, Cheryl Davies, Zeba Khan, Ruth Martin-Misener, Salima M Meherali, Martha J Paynter, Shannon D Scott, Kate Wahl, Glenys Webster


Moving More: Supporting Uptake of Evidence for Physical Activity in Older Adults with Complex Health Care Needs

Principal investigators: Linda C Li, Teresa Y Liu-Ambrose

Co-investigators: Cindy Barha, Jennifer C Davis, Ryan S Falck, Lynne M Feehan, Alison M Hoens, Bev J Holmes, Michelle E Kho, Jennifer Leese, Marilyn J Mackay-Lyons, Kenneth M Madden, Jasmin K Ma, Nancy E Mayo, Olga Theou, Hubert H Wong, Hui M Xie


Schizophrenia treatment adherence and driver responsibility for motor vehicle crash

Principal investigator: John A Staples

Co-investigators: Jeffrey R Brubacher, Wing-Ping H Chan, Shannon Erdelyi, William G Honer, Mayesha Khan, Stefanie N Rezansoff


Patient Treatment Preferences and Decisional Needs for Heart Failure Medications

Principal investigators: Ricky D Turgeon, Mark Harrison

Co-investigators: Nicholas Bansback, Jilliane Code, Mary A De Vera, Beth (Mary) E Snow, Sean A Virani


Assessing the Patient, Provider and Policy Impacts of a Positive Airway Pressure Device Recall for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Mixed-Methods Evaluation

Principal Investigators: Tetyana Kendzerska, Najib Ayas, Sachin R Pendharkar

Co-investigators: Mark E Fenton, Anna R Gagliardi, Andrea S Gershon, Steven Hawken, Marta Kaminska, Constance A Mackenzie, Kerry McBrien, Marcus Povitz


A mixed methods evaluation of safer supply initiatives to reduce illicit drug overdose in BC

Principal Investigators: Karen A Urbanoski, Brittany M Barker, Bohdan P Nosyk, Bernadette M Pauly, Amanda K Slaunwhite

Co-investigators: Jaime Arredondo Sanchez Lira, Phoenix D Beck McGreevy, Rupinder Brar, Charlene Burmeister, Jane Buxton, Carolyn Davison, Willow Giesinger, Alissa Greer, Heather Hobbs, Gillian Kolla, Kurt Lock, Louise Meilleur, Tonia L Nicholls, Alexa B Norton, Heather Palis, Hudson Reddon, Christy Sutherland, Erica Thomson, Kenneth Tupper, Bruce B Wallace, Cornelia G Wieman


Opioid tapering: Identifying optimal strategies to reduce adverse events among adults on long-term opioid therapy

Principal investigators: Lianping (Mint) Ti, Cheyenne H Johnson, Seonaid Nolan, Amanda K Slaunwhite

Co-investigators: Jane Buxton, Alexis E Crabtree, Mary Clare Kennedy, Michael R Law, Rita McCracken, Heather Palis, Christian G Schütz


A spatial analysis of inequality in road trauma outcomes in British Columbia

Principal Investigator: Jeffrey R Brubacher

Co-investigators: Neil Arason, Michael C Branion-Calles, Wing-Ping H Chan, Shannon Erdelyi, M. Anne Harris, Katherine A Hosford, Kevin Manaugh, Manal Masud, Nadine C Schuurman, John A Staples, Meghan Winters, Yue Yuan


Light and Ion Maintenance In Treatment of Depression (LIMIT-D) Trial: Feasibility Study

Principal Investigator: Raymond W Lam

Co-investigators: Trisha Chakrabarty, André Do, Benicio N Frey, Andrew Kcomt, Sidney H Kennedy, Robert D Levitan, Anthony J Levitt, Erin Michalak, Roumen V Milev, Daniel J Mueller, Claudio D Soares, Valerie Hannah Taylor, Smadar V Tourjman, Rudolf Uher, Hubert H Wong, Lakshmi N Yatham


Teaching by Texting to Promote Health Behaviours in Pregnancy

Principal Investigator: Patricia A Janssen

Co-investigators: Arianne Albert, Hamideh Bayrampour, Jesse Coleman, Cindy-Lee E Dennis, Nichole Fairbrother, Nazeem Muhajarine, Sarah B Munro, Jennifer B Murray, Wendy V Norman, Regina M Renner, Suzanne C Tough, Wei Zhang


Identifying strategies for successful implementation of primary healthcare teams: longitudinal case studies across three Canadian provinces

Principal Investigators: Walter P Wodchis, Ruth Martin-Misener, Tara Sampalli, Nadia Surani, Sabrina T Wong

Co-investigators: G. Ross Baker, Erin Christian, Mark Embrett, George Kephart, Kerry H Kuluski, Emily G Marshall, Rita McCracken, Innocent NDATEBA, Nelly Oelke, Tanya L Packer, Morgan Thomas M Price, Jennifer Rayner, James A Shaw, Sarah Meaghan Sim, Carolyn A Steele Gray, Paul Wankah Nji


Nicotinamide chemoprevention for keratinocyte carcinoma in solid organ transplant recipients: a multicentre, pragmatic randomized trial

Principal Investigators: An-Wen Chan, Sang J Kim

Co-investigators: Sheila Au, Jennifer Beecker, Sharon S Chih, John S Gill, Sita Gourishankar, Fatemeh Jafarian, Olwyn Johnston, Sunil Kalia, Gregory Knoll, Ngan Lam, Paule R Mydlarski, Marisa G Ponzo, Jaggi Rao, Ruth Sapir-Pichhadze, Lianne G Singer, George A Tomlinson


Personalizing the choice of therapy in rheumatoid arthritis

Principal Investigators: Glen S Hazlewood, George A Wells

Co-investigators: Nicholas Bansback, Claire E Barber, Cheryl C Barnabe, Claire Bombardier, Vivian P Bykerk, Alexandra S Charlton, Denis Choquette, Rob Deardon, Jesse Elliott, Mohammed Mujaab Kamso, Shannon Kelly, Laurie Proulx, Dawn Richards, Orit Schieir, Jocelyn Thomas


A Study of Reduced Dosing of the Nonavalent HPV Vaccine in Women Living with HIV

Principal Investigator: Deborah M Money

Co-investigators: Arianne Albert, Isabelle Boucoiran, François Coutlée, Chelsea Elwood, Catherine A Hankins, Marette H Lee, Mona R Loutfy, Valérie Martel-Laferrière, Elisabeth K McClymont, Gina S Ogilvie, Vanessa Poliquin, Manish Sadarangani, Joel Singer, Fiona M Smaill, Marie-Louise C Vachon, Sharon L Walmsley, Mark H Yudin


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