Population-based ‘big data’ research to improve women’s health

Dr. Hanley's research in women's reproductive health uses the large population-based datasets that already exist in British Columbia, and is driven by diverse training in population and public health, health services research, and economics.

Specifically, Hanley will study whether removing a woman's fallopian tubes at the time of other routine gynecologic surgeries is a safe, effective and cost-effective ovarian cancer prevention strategy. This will provide much needed and timely evidence on the effectiveness of removing the fallopian tubes as an ovarian cancer prevention strategy. Known as the British Columbia protocol, this practice has been adopted in many countries around the world.

Hanley will also examine the safety of using psychotropic medicines during pregnancy, specifically whether using antidepressants during pregnancy may increase a child's risk for autism spectrum disorder and social and emotional and motor development in early childhood. This will generate evidence that can be used to minimize or avoid adverse outcomes from maternal mental illness and use of prescription drugs to treat that illness in pregnancy.

This focus on women's reproductive health and the use of the large linkable population-based datasets in BC will generate evidence on improving population health, improving patient care, and reducing health system costs. This research has already, and will continue to, guide patient care in British Columbia.