Sharing knowledge to connect, collaborate and co-create Dementia-inclusive Spaces for Community Access, Participation, and Engagement (DemSCAPE)

The Dementia-inclusive Spaces for Community Access, Participation, and Engagement (DemSCAPE) study is a two-year research project (2021-2023), that brings together researchers, trainees, advocacy organization members and municipal partners in Metro Vancouver and Prince George. The project identified patterns in activities outside the home by people with dementia. It also explored how the environmental features of the neighbourhood influenced participants’ mobility and community participation.

To promote community engagement and increase awareness, we will create educational activities with people with lived experiences and community and municipal partners. These activities will showcase the project findings by video and photo exhibits to the general public virtually. Moreover, we will have two public discussion sessions called World Cafés to encourage conversations, collaborative learning and new ideas with in-person video and photo exhibits and interactive games. Our aim is to enhance understanding of the features of a dementia-inclusive environment and advocate for positive changes.

This project will have a significant impact in increasing awareness of dementia-inclusive communities.

Early detection and diagnosis of cerebral palsy: Implementing best practice guidelines in BC

Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common physical disability in Canadian children. Current guidelines and assessments allow for diagnosis as early as four months. Early therapy can maximize a child’s abilities and prevent health complications. In the first two years of life, the brain is most able to reorganize and grow new pathways. Yet, the average age of diagnosis in BC is nearly 25 months. Parents feel stress and anxiety while waiting. A diagnosis helps families to understand what CP is, access therapies and plan for the future. Our survey showed many doctors lack the knowledge, skills, and confidence to diagnose early, and an understanding of families’ lived experience. Our strategy for change includes education, training, and sharing parents’ experiences. We will use online learning, resources, and interactive online and in-person workshops. Our aim is to support doctors to assess for and diagnose CP early, and help families through the diagnosis and next steps. We will measure doctors’ change in knowledge, skills, confidence, and diagnosing behaviours. Interviews will determine how well they liked the strategy. Then we will share our learnings with health care leaders, doctors and families to promote ongoing change.

Celebrating World Thrombosis Day: Raising Awareness to Save Lives

Our bodies need to be able to form blood clots after injuries such as cuts; these clots are essential because they keep us from bleeding to death. However, blood clots can also form in parts of our bodies where they are not supposed to. The formation of these “wrong” blood clots is called thrombosis, and is the cause of many life-threatening conditions, including heart attacks, strokes, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Thrombosis is the cause of death for 1 in 4 people worldwide. October 13 is declared as “World Thrombosis Day” – a day dedicated to raising awareness and educating the public about thrombosis, how to prevent it, and how to recognize the signs of a medical emergency. The purpose of this Reach Grant application is to support a “Café Scientifique” – an openly accessible and inclusive information session aimed at the general public. Our team of physicians and blood researchers will host a panel discussion on World Thrombosis Day (October 13, 2023) to inform the public about the prevention and management of heart attacks, strokes and other thrombosis-related conditions. A better public awareness of thrombosis will help to reduce thrombosis-related sickness and disability in our communities, and ultimately save lives.

Provincial Dissemination of Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for Youth, by Youth

The Low-Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines for Youth, By Youth (the Guidelines) are a novel public health resource that reflect day-to-day realities of youth’s lives and provide practical and feasible strategies to help mitigate the harms of cannabis use. The Guidelines were developed for and by youth, responding to calls by the Lancet Commission and BC’s Representative for Children and Youth for the greater inclusion of youth voices in policies and guidelines that support their health and wellbeing.

While Phase 1 of the Guidelines project focused on developing the youth-oriented guidelines, the objective of Phase 2 is to develop and implement a youth-led knowledge translation (KT) strategy, designed for broad dissemination of the Guidelines. To meet this objective, we will (1) establish a KT Youth Working Group (KT-WG) comprised of youth across BC with lived experience of cannabis use, and (2) co-create and implement a KT plan with the KT-WG, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, and Foundry Central Office to mobilize the Guidelines at provincial, national, and international levels. In doing so, we aim to promote youth-oriented harm reduction guidelines and contribute to the health and wellness of youth in Canada.

Drawing Attention to an Invisible Injury: Increasing Awareness and Reducing the Burden of Concussion among Workers and Workplaces in British Columbia

Concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury, is the most common form of brain injury, causing physical, emotional, and mental health symptoms, with the potential for long term impacts, particularly if not managed properly. Concussion can happen to anyone, anywhere, and is a top five cause of workplace time-loss. In BC, from 2017-2021, concussion accounted for 4.8% of all time-loss claims and 8% of claims by retail salespersons, mostly among young workers. The aim of this project is to increase concussion awareness and education within the retail industry by highlighting key messages from the evidence-based online resource, the Concussion Awareness Training Tool for Workers and Workplaces. By leveraging existing partnerships, we will engage a large retailer to promote concussion education within their workforce. Information sessions will be delivered on concussion prevention, recognition, recovery, management, and Return-to-Work. We will create a concussion infographic and recruit a worker to share their personal story via video for wide dissemination. Not only will this initiative create awareness and change attitudes about concussion at work, but the safety messages will be applicable to workers’ lives beyond the workplace.

CGSHE’s Gender & Sex in Methods and Measurement: An Educational Symposium focused on Building Equity in Research

This award will support a 1-day educational symposium to be held in Vancouver, BC in summer 2024. The symposium’s aim is to expand attendees’ knowledge of and capacity to ensure accuracy, precision, and inclusion when it comes to gender, sex, and sexuality in health research. Funded by CIHR Sex and Gender Science Chair to help advance the centre’s strategic priority to increase inclusivity in research, CGSHE Research Equity Toolkit on Gender & Sex in Methods and Measurement (GSMM) was launched in 2022. Attendees will learn about the toolkit and participate in workshops focused on different facets of research design, data collection, analysis, and dissemination, organized around each GSMM tool. Attendees will be able to meet with toolkit co-authors/advisory members, who are 2S/LGBTQ research and methods experts, to get advice on their specific project and data needs. The symposium will culminate in a roundtable focused on identifying a gap in the toolkit. A final tool will be developed following the event, based on the input and insights shared by attendees. The symposium will welcome academic and clinical researchers, healthcare providers, government employees, and others who collect, manage and/or use health data in their work.

Primary Care and Spinal Cord Injury – Filling the Knowledge Gap with Continuing Medical Education and Partnership

Over 13,000 people live with a devastating spinal cord injury (SCI) in British Columbia. People with SCI need specialized care from their family doctors for health issues such as bladder, bowel, skin, pain, blood pressure, fertility, and breathing conditions. However, most family doctors have received little training on how to help a patient with SCI. We will host a Continuing Medical Education event where family doctors and people with SCI can learn about key health issues about SCI and speak freely about their concerns. The Continuing Medical Education content will be developed by doctors with expertise in family practice and spinal cord medicine, as well as by people with SCI who experience these key issues.The event will be broadcast by videoconference and recorded to accommodate people who cannot attend. These activities will complement our existing Spinal Cord Injury Research Evidence (SCIRE) website (scireproject.com) which has a special section for Primary Care and SCI and is accessed by over 300,000 health care providers annually. The Continuing Medical Education event will be posted on our website so that it can continue to be accessed by stakeholders. Lastly, all activities will be evaluated for their impact.

Mobilizing aging in place (MAP) research

This project will reach policymakers in municipal and regional governments and health authorities with the voices of service users and providers via digital stories, which encapsulate findings from two studies on aging in place. The first study examined the unique role of Seniors Health and Wellness Centres in the lives of rural and remote older adults. The second study developed a web app to link health and community service providers for person-oriented services. Digital stories will be storyboarded by a trainee and created with service users and providers across rural, urban, and remote regions. The team will go “on the road” to get feedback on the digital stories from service users and providers before hosting a Knowledge Summit that will connect various sectors and service models. Policymakers will be specially invited, including social planners, health authority decision-makers, and advocacy groups. Digital stories and knowledge translation tools will be available in multiple languages. Overall, the project will enable the Cities of Kamloops and Richmond and other municipalities to lead and implement change with age-friendly policies that support older adults to age in place and respect their diverse voices and experiences.

Exploring the Experiences of First Nations Mental Health and Wellness Services with Sku?7pecen (Porcupine)

In collaboration with Indigenous Nurse Leadership from the community of St’uxwstews this distinct research approach will honor a formalized a Research Partnership Agreement to uphold Knowledge sovereignty for a community driven knowledge translation project. This work stemmed from Indigenous nurse-led research project completed in May 2023 under the intergenerational mentorship and training provided through the BC Chair program. As per community advisement, this collaborative outcome will showcase Knowledge synthesis, translation, and mobilization activities and events co-led by St’uxwstews (Bonaparte First Nation). The research team will ensure any Knowledge Translation initiative will have direct benefit to St’uxwstews community and larger Secwépemc Nation, located in the interior region of British Columbia. Knowledge Translation initiatives will include workshops, presentations, a community-based event, video production (if appropriate), scholarly publications, and evidence informed dialogue sessions to inform and enhance mental health and wellness care and access to First Nations Peoples within the interior region, with a specific focus on rural and remote First Nations communities.

Youth.hood: Mobilizing research to achieve healthier built environments for youth in under-resourced neighbourhoods

Our proposal will extend the reach of research findings from Youth.hood—a community-engaged research project exploring how built environments shape social connectedness and health for youth living in under-resourced areas. Youth.hood grew out of the success of our long-standing collaboration (SFU Health Sciences/Urban Studies, South Vancouver Neighbourhood House) to uncover social infrastructure gaps in South Vancouver: inequities that effectively disadvantage the health and resilience of residents. Youth.hood findings tell a compelling story of the role that social infrastructure plays in connectedness, cultural identity, and resilience, and how a lack of active transportation infrastructure, neighbourhood upkeep, and quality youth-friendly spaces create barriers to wellbeing. Our proposal will mobilize findings with an aim to advance healthier built environments for youth in South Vancouver, and inform broader dialogue and practice on planning of healthier cities with and for young people. Through tools and engagement activities co-designed and co-delivered with community, our proposal promises to achieve impacts at multiple levels—including environmental, policy, and practice—in Vancouver, and for city building more broadly.