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CIHR Spring 2021 Project Grant Competition results announced

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

In Canada, there is currently a shortage of plasma, the liquid component of blood. CHÉOS Program Head of Decision Sciences Dr. Nick Bansback is leading a survey of existing blood donors and non-donors to understand what influences their willingness to donate in order to determine what locations and features might result in the most plasma donations. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Mark Harrison is a co-investigator on this project. Dr. Bansback is also a co-investigator on a project developing a personalized decision aid to help patients choose the best rheumatoid arthritis treatment, in addition to a project identifying and updating information on rheumatoid arthritis treatments to inform physician/patient discussions.

CHÉOS Director Dr. Aslam Anis and Program Head of Health Economics Dr. Wei Zhang are leading an evaluation of Canada’s upcoming drug pricing regulations and determine the likely impact these regulations will have on taxpayers and pharmaceutical companies. As Dr. Anis explains, “Our study will produce evidence-informed recommendations on the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board price regulations that will have broad implications for Canada’s drug expenditures and access to essential medicines.”

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Larry Lynd is co-principal investigator on a study that will use patient and clinical data to develop and test a series of predictive models in multiple sclerosis (MS) to help guide personalized therapeutic approaches and improve patient-level decision-making. These models will be made freely available online. CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Annalijn Conklin and Mary De Vera are co-investigators on this study.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Bohdan Nosyk will join Program Head of Biostatistics Dr. Hubert Wong to lead an evaluation of Suboxone microdosing in BC and Alberta. The team will identify adult patients with opioid addiction in emergency departments, and provide them with either take-home Suboxone microdosing or standard dosing packages to start after they are discharged to determine who is more likely to stay on treatment. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Andrew Kestler is co-investigator on this project. Dr. Wong is also a co-investigator on a randomized controlled trial testing cannabidiol as a treatment for the depressive phases of bipolar disorder.

Alongside CHÉOS Health Economist Emanuel Krebs, Dr. Nosyk is also leading a project estimating the impact and cost-effectiveness of the harm reduction, opioid agonist therapy (OAT), and safe supply interventions that have been introduced in BC since 2016 to determine if these initiatives have reduced opioid overdose death across the province.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Najib Ayas is principal investigator of research into whether oxidative stress/inflammatory biomarkers can help predict long-term health complications in obstructive sleep apnea, such as kidney damage and dementia, and determine whether CPAP adherence improves outcomes.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Sarah Munro is co-leading a collaboration between Indigenous communities, researchers at UBC, the BC First Nations Health Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the ekw’i7tl doula collective, and health care professional organizations. Together, they seek to understand Indigenous peoples’ experiences of accessing family planning care and what approaches to family care are best suited to Indigenous communities, contexts, priorities, and needs.

In response to the opioid overdose crisis, BC policy-makers have implemented several changes to encourage physicians to expand access to OAT. Meanwhile, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia released a new practice standard setting enforceable thresholds for prescribing. CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Rita McCracken is co-principal investigator of an analysis of the consequences of changes to OAT prescribing and the College’s practice standards for patients and physicians.

CHÉOS Program Head of Clinical Trials Dr. Joel Singer is a co-investigator on four projects. One project, led by Dr. Deborah Money, will analyze the effectiveness of a reduced dosing regimen of the HPV vaccine for women living with HIV. As part of an ongoing collaboration with UBC Okanagan, one project will evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the Small Steps for Big Changes (SSBC) diet and exercise intervention. Another project he is involved in, led by Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose, will evaluate the effect of twice-weekly targeted exercise training on sleep quality in people with chronic stroke and poor sleep quality. Finally, Dr. Singer will join CHÉOS Statistician Dr. Terry Lee on a project investigating the effectiveness of a telehealth intervention (CANATEXTS) on improving health outcomes among asthma patients.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Skye Barbic is serving as a co-investigator on a project looking to identify strategies to address the health and social needs of youth who use stimulants that are culturally safe for diverse genders, sexual identities, and for youth who are racialized and exposed to living on the streets. Alongside CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Mieke Koehoorn, Dr. Barbic is also a co-investigator on a study assessing economic activities and their impacts on individual health and wellbeing.

CHÉOS Scientists Drs. Naveed Janjua, Troy Grennan, and Caren Rose are co-investigators on a project calculating sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing rates and patterns, assessing how they relate to diagnosis rates, and identifying populations that may benefit from additional testing and prevention efforts.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. David Barbic is a co-investigator on the largest study ever conducted on people who are prescribed blood thinners with a head injury, led by Dr. Kerstin de Wit. The team will recruit 5,000 patients from Canada, Britain, and the United States to develop a new bedside decision rule, which will indicate whether or not the patient needs a CT scan.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. Tara Sedlak is a co-investigator on a randomized, prospective, placebo-controlled study investigating whether atomoxetine is an effective treatment for frequent fainting. If it is, they will also determine the costs of use, peoples’ feelings towards the drug, and how quickly other doctors can be taught to use it.

CHÉOS Scientist Dr. John Staples is serving as a co-investigator on a project investigating the circumstances around active transport injuries, how quickly injured pedestrians and cyclists recover, which patients are more likely to have long-term health issues, how much medical treatment is needed, and how much work patients miss. The results could help inform city planning and support policy-makers’ decisions on what resources are needed to prevent or treat pedestrian or cyclist injuries.

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

Options for Increasing Plasma Supply in Canada: A Health Economic Preference and Modelling Study (HEMO-CAN)
Principal Investigator: Nick Bansback
Co-investigators: Dana Devine, Richard Grieve, Mark Harrison, Kelly Holloway, Steven Shechter

Evaluating and Informing Canada’s Proposed Pharmaceutical Price Regulations
Principal Investigators: Aslam Anis, Wei Zhang
Co-investigators: Paul V Grootendorst, Aidan Hollis, Javad Moradpour Taleshi, Ali Shajarizadeh

Predictive modeling in multiple sclerosis: using real world data to inform practice, policy, and research
Principal Investigators: Jacquelyn Cragg, Larry D Lynd
Co-investigators: Annalijn Conklin, Mary A De Vera, Ruth Ann Marrie, Jiwon Oh, Scott B Patten, Mohsen Sadatsafavi, Roger C Tam, Anthony Traboulsee

Evaluating Microdosing in Emergency Departments: A Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing the Effectiveness of Buprenorphine/Naloxone Microdosing vs. Standard Dosing (EMED Study)
Principal Investigators: Jessica Moe, Connie I Carter, Carolyn Davison, Corinne M Hohl, Brian R Holroyd, Kurt Lock, Bohdan P Nosyk, Amanda K Slaunwhite, Hubert H Wong
Co-investigators: Pouya Azar, Rupinder Brar, Jane Buxton, Kathryn A Dong, Andrew Kestler, Patrick McLane, Rob Wittmeier

Estimating the value and long-term impact of implementing Risk Mitigation Guidance to reduce the harms of substance use disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic: A simulation modeling analysis
Principal Investigators: Bohdan P Nosyk, Michael A Irvine, Emmanuel Krebs, Amanda K Slaunwhite
Co-investigators: Daniel Coombs, Kurt Lock, Michael C Otterstatter, Heather Palis, Bernadette M Pauly, Karen A Urbanoski

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Long-term Health Consequences
Principal Investigators: Najib Ayas
Co-investigators: Sofia B Ahmed, Julie Carrier, Patrick J Hanly, Rachel Jen, Tetyana Kendzerska, Richard J Kimoff, Michael S Kobor, Ismail Laher, Andrew S Lim, Rébecca Robillard, Andrew J Sandford, Frédéric H Series, Robert Skomro, Eric E Smith, Scott J Tebbutt, Stephanus F Van Eeden

Improving access to family planning services for Indigenous peoples through storytelling
Principal Investigators: Sarah B Munro, Danette S Jubinville, Miranda D Kelly, Unjali Malhotra
Co-investigators: Stephanie Begun, Brittany L Bingham, Renee J Monchalin, Wendy V Norman, Kate Wahl, Glenys M Webster

Evaluating the intended and unintended consequences of opioid prescribing interventions on primary care
Principal Investigators: Dimitra Panagiotoglou, Rita McCracken
Co-investigators: Benedikt Fischer, Tara Gomes, Miriam R Lavergne, Erin C Strumpf

A pragmatic randomized controlled trial evaluating the impact of a tele-asthma self-management intervention (Canadian Asthma Text Messaging Study – CANATEXTS) on reducing asthma exacerbations
Principal Investigators: J M Fitzgerald
Co-investigators: Shawn D Aaron, Céline Bergeron, Louis-Philippe Boulet, Delbert R Dorscheid, Samir Gupta, Terry Lee, Richard Leigh, Christopher J Licskai, M. Diane Lougheed, Robert A Mcivor, Ronald Olivenstein, Iraj M Poureslami, Julia Pritchard, Clare D Ramsey, Mohsen Sadatsafavi, Joel Singer, Wan Tan

Rise & Shine: Promoting Sleep Quality in Chronic Stroke with Exercise
Principal Investigator: Teresa Y Liu-Ambrose
Co-investigators: Cindy Barha, Jennifer C Davis, Janice J Eng, Ryan S Falck, Thalia S Field, Andrew S Lim, Kenneth M Madden, Joel Singer

Making an impact on rural health: Scaling-out and evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of an evidence-based diabetes prevention program across Interior British Columbia
Principal Investigator: Mary E Jung
Co-investigators: Corliss Bean, Jennifer C Davis, Scott A Lear, Sean R Locke, Kathleen A Martin Ginis, Chelsea Pelletier, Joel Singer

Cannabidiol Adjunctive Therapy for Acute Bipolar Depression: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo Controlled Trial
Principal Investigator: Lakshmi N Yatham
Co-investigators: Martin Alda, Serge Beaulieu, Elisa Brietzke, Trisha Chakrabarty, Benicio N Frey, Flavio Kapczinski, Kamyar Keramatian, Raymond W Lam, Alexander Mcgirr, Erin Michalak, Roumen V Milev, Gayatri Saraf, Ayal Schaffer, Ivan Torres, Gustavo Vazquez, Hubert H Wong

Side by Side: Identifying strategies to address the health and social needs of youth who use stimulants
Principal Investigators: Rodney E Knight, Danya Fast
Co-investigators: Skye P Barbic, Kora A DeBeck, Nadia S Fairbairn, Trevor H Goodyear, Rebecca J Haines-Saah, Emily K Jenkins, Cheyenne H Johnson, Mohammad Karamouzian, Hossein Kia, Ivan Leonce, Gwen Lister, Kali-olt Sedgemore, Rodney E Stehr

Addressing key knowledge gaps in testing to inform STI prevention & control strategies
Principal Investigators: Mark P Gilbert, Martin Lavoie, Jason Wong
Co-investigators: Ann N Burchell, Nuria Chapinal, Ali Cowieson, Dionne Gesink, Jonathan (Troy) Grennan, Ramandip Grewal, Naveed Z Janjua, Rakel Kling, Mel Krajden, Gina S Ogilvie, Ann P Pederson, Caren L Rose, Travis Salway, Hasina Samji

Personalizing the choice of therapy in rheumatoid arthritis
Principal Investigators: Glen S Hazlewood, George A Wells
Co-investigators: Nick Bansback, Claire E Barber, Cheryl C Barnabe, Claire Bombardier, Vivian P Bykerk, 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

Selective neuroimaging for head-injured emergency patients who take anticoagulant medication
Principal Investigator: Kerstin de Wit
Co-investigators: Paul R Atkinson, David Barbic, Susan A Bartels, Steven C Brooks, Christopher R Carpenter, Dennis W Christopher, James D Douketis, Debra Eagles, Marcel Emond, Gordon Fuller, Federico Germini, Keerat Grewal, Pejman Jabehdar Maralani, Rebecca Jeanmonod, Yoan Kagoma, Paul Y Kim, Fiona Lecky, Jacques S Lee, Shelley L McLeod, Andrew D McRae, Eric Mercier, Mathew Mercuri, Judy M Morris, Fabrice I Mowbray, Daniel K Nishijima, Sameer Parpia, Matthew J Reed, Sunjay V Sharma, Ashkan Shoamanesh, Marco L Sivilotti, Ian G Stiell, Catherine E Varner, Andrew Worster, Feng Xie, Justin Yan,

The ASSET Study: Assessing economic transitions and their impacts on health and well-being
Principal Investigator: Lindsey Richardson
Co-investigators: Skye P Barbic, Suzanne Christensen, Carolyn Davison, Kora A DeBeck, Anjum Hajat, Kanna Hayashi, Kimberly R Huyser, Thomas H Kerr, Mieke W Koehoorn, Allison M Laing, Kelsey Lucyk, Michael-John S Milloy, Anita Minh, Annie Pouliot

Randomized, Prospective, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study of Atomoxetine in the Prevention of Vasovagal Syncope: The Seventh Prevention of Syncope Trial (POST7)
Principal Investigators: Robert S Sheldon, Satish R Raj
Co-investigators: Félix A Ayala-Paredes, Guanmin Chen, Derek Chew, Juan C Guzman, Carlos A Morillo, Mary Runte, Roopinder Sandhu, Tara Sedlak, Colette Seifer

Circumstances and Outcome of Active Transportation Injuries: An Inception Cohort Study
Principal Investigator: Jeffrey R Brubacher
Co-investigators: Neil Arason, Michael C Branion-Calles, Erin L Bristow, Stirling Bryan, Wing-Ping H Chan, Shannon Erdelyi, David C Evans, M. Anne Harris, Manal Masud, Leona Shum, John A Staples, Meghan Winters, Yue Yuan

Living systematic reviews of pharmacological treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis
Principal Investigators: George A Wells, Glen S Hazlewood, Peter S Tugwell
Co-investigators: Nick Bansback, Claire E Barber, Jesse Elliott, Mohammed Mujaab Kamso, Shannon Kelly, Lara Maxwell