2016 Allied Health Research Grant Recipients

Dr. Fabio FeldmanFeldman

Fraser Health Authority - Surrey

The effects of a pre-dialytic low-intensity exercise program on the health outcomes of elderly haemodialysis patients

2016-2018:  $93,296
Category:  Quality of Life

Fabio Feldman has been the Manager, Seniors Falls and Injury Prevention for the Fraser Health Authority since September 2006. He has been involved in the development and implementation of Falls Prevention initiatives in acute care, long term care facilities, assisted living, and community. His approach integrates research into practice, and has been embraced by both administrators and care providers. Fabio got his PhD in the area of biomechanics at Simon Fraser University. His research was mainly focused on the prevention of falls and hip fractures. He currently holds an Adjunct Professor position at the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology at Simon Fraser University and is a Faculty member of the Safer Healthcare Now! Falls Prevention Team. Fabio’s position enables him to pursue a unique research program in collaboration with investigators at SFU, UBC, and various health facilities in BC. He has been able to receive external peer-reviewed funding as Principal investigator as well as Co-Investigator and such efforts have raised the profile of falls and injury prevention in Fraser Health and BC.

Dr. Kara Schick-MakaroffSchickMakaroff

University of Alberta - Edmonton

Patient-reported outcomes in clinical kidney practice (PRO Kidney): a realist synthesis

2016-2018:  $99,998
Category:  Quality of Life

Dr. Kara Schick-Makaroff is a New Investigator in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. She obtained her PhD from the University of Victoria in 2011. She completed her Post Doctoral Fellowship (2011-2015), funded by the KRESCENT program, with Dr. Anita Molzahn at the University of Alberta. Building on her Post Doctoral research, Dr. Schick-Makaroff’s research program broadly focuses on enhancing quality of life, enriching person-centred care, and improving services for people affected by chronic kidney disease. This illness significantly impacts peoples’ views of their health, emotions, work and relationships. Clinicians need patients’ views about how chronic kidney disease impacts their overall life so that they can respond to any concerns. One way to do this is to use patient-reported outcomes that ask people to share the impact of an illness on their life. Examples of patient-reported outcomes include surveys asking about quality of life or symptoms. The purpose of Dr. Schick-Makaroff’s research is to study the impact of routine use of patient-reported outcomes data in kidney care and influence positive change in health services. Her research program, “Electronic Patient-Reported Outcomes in Clinical Kidney Practice (ePRO Kidney)” is supported through a KRESCENT New Investigator award (2016-2019).

2016 Allied Health Doctoral Fellowship Recipients

Ahmed Al-JaishiAl-jaishi

McMaster University - Hamilton

Methodological considerations for conducting registry-based cluster-randomized controlled trials in hemodialysis

2016-2018:  $45,833.33
Cateogory:  Dialysis

Mr. Al-Jaishi will be starting a doctorate degree in Health Research Methodology at McMaster University under the supervision of Drs. Garg and Devereaux. After completing undergraduate studies in Biological and Mathematical Sciences, he started a Master’s degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University. His research focused on improving the health of people living with kidney failure– a health problem that plagues nearly 25 thousand Canadians and two million worldwide requiring dialysis treatment to stay alive.

Over the next four years of his career, he will be investigating methods to improve the way we conduct research in the dialysis arena. Patients on dialysis have a very high death rate and are 30 times more likely to die compared to the general population at the same age. There are very few high quality studies that come from randomized controlled trials that test interventions to improve health outcomes for dialysis patients. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) randomly allocate patients to an intervention or control group and are often produce the best type evidence. Areas in medicine with the highest number of RCTs have experienced the most improvements in patient health outcomes (for example, cardiology).

One of the reasons traditional RCTs are often not conducted in the dialysis population is because patients cross between the control and intervention groups, thus biasing the results of the study.  For example, many patients are treated within the same dialysis centre. If patients or their healthcare provider observe that other patients on the intervention have better outcomes, the intervention may be adopted by patients in the control group before the study is complete. This cross over between the two groups defeats the purpose of randomization, contaminates the control group, and biases the results of the study.

In contrast to traditional RCTs, cluster RCTs randomize intact groups (so the entire centre is on the same treatment). For example, for the 82 dialysis centres in Ontario, we would randomly assign 41 centres to the intervention and 41 centres to the control group. By design, cluster RCTs protect against bias from cross-group contamination. But, before we can begin conducting research using cluster RCTs, there are some practical challenges that require further study in the dialysis population. During my doctoral training, I will focus on these considerations and suggest appropriate adjustments to overcome those challenges. These findings can then be applied to future dialysis trials so we can produce high quality research that is free of bias.

Catherine FortierFortier

Université Laval - Québec

Inversed alterations of large and medium arteries: cardiovascular impact on chronic kidney disease

2016-2017:  $31,000
Category:  Hypertension

Mme Catherine Fortier is about to finish her doctoral studies at the Research Center of the CHU in Quebec, under the supervision of Drs Mohsen Agharazii and Fabrice Mac-Way. She indeed developed a deep understanding and knowledge of hypertension and renal insufficiency that is complementary to her clinical kinesiology background (cardiovascular disease, pulmonary and metabolic diseases). She works as a kinesiologist and a practical supervisor at the Laval University Kinesiology Clinic.

2016 Allied Health Scholarship Recipient

Cherie Kapell-BrownKapell-Brown

University of Saskatchewan - Saskatoon

2016-2017:  $5,000
Category:  Nursing


Cherie is a graduate nursing student at the University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing and health services researcher. She is interested in developing strategies to improve communication around complex medical decisions with adult patients and their families. She is particularly interested in understanding how decisional capacity affects decision-making in advanced illness. Her research focus complements her background as a Critical Care Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, SK where distressed people are faced with difficult decisions. As a nurse, she sees patients and families struggle to understand the information presented by healthcare teams, process what is going on, and try to make informed decisions that reflect the values and preferences of the patient. Her research is focused on helping patients receive only the care that is right for them and so that they can feel confident in the decisions that they make.

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