Developing a Research Agenda to Address Stigma of Dementia in Rural Communities in Interior British Columbia

Stigma of dementia is one of the greatest barriers for people living with dementia and their care partners. It can lead to poor mental health, social isolation, and a reduced quality of life. Currently, there is a paucity of research on stigma of dementia within a rural context. Rural communities often face unique challenges to accessing dementia information compounded by limited finances, transportation, and geography. However, documenting challenges alone does not improve stigma of dementia. Addressing stigma requires rural collaboration and ingenuity at the individual, community, and policy levels.

This project’s purpose is to support collaboration between researchers and research users to develop a research agenda with identifiable research questions, action items, and deliverables. We will plan a knowledge exchange workshop with a specific focus on developing a research agenda to reduce rural stigma of dementia in Interior British Columbia. Our outcomes will include a research advisory team, a knowledge exchange workshop, and a collaborative research agenda with specific research questions and strategic recommendations to reduce stigma of dementia in rural communities in Interior BC.

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.

Participatory Indigenous nursing knowledge translation project: Co-creating Indigenous wellness support networks by and for Indigenous healthcare professionals in interior British Columbia

The proposed Participatory Indigenous Nursing Knowledge Translation Project will provide opportunities for stakeholders from British Columbia’s health authorities, nursing educational institutes, professional nursing organizations and associations to participate in the integrated knowledge translation stakeholder’s forum to establish an Indigenous Health Professional’s (IHP) Network. The intent is to cocreate Indigenous wellness supports by and for Indigenous healthcare professionals to decolonize healthcare systems and structures. This work is in response to the Calls for Action on Truth and Reconciliation, and to respond to Interior Health and FNHA mandated strategy to address Indigenous workforce issues. A key outcome of the integrated knowledge translation activities will be the collaboration of community members, with multidisciplinary Indigenous health professionals coming together to address the growing inequities, racism, and discrimination. Through Indigenous health nursing leadership and guidance with Indigenous knowledge holders our team will co-create Indigenous wellness support systems, through policy development, and educational training in culturally informed ways through Intergenerational Indigenous mentorship.

Team members: Judy Sturm (Interior Health); Rose Mylnek (Thompson Rivers University); Christina (University of Victoria); Melba D’Souza (Thompson Rivers University); Colleen Seymour (Tk’emlups Knowledge Holder); Leslie Bryant (Interior Health); Tracy Mooney (Interior Health); Shirlie Delacherois (Interior Health); Shesley Callison-Hanna (Thompson Rivers University)

Mapping Social Epidemiology of British Columbia: COVID19 Pandemic and Psycho Social and Occupational Well-being of Frontline Health-care Workers in BC

Insights in to Psycho-social wellbeing of health care workers during the COVID19 outbreak is crucial for health equity policy making. Untreated guilt, anxiety and depression among frontline health-care workers (FHCWs) often lead to resignations, poor work performance and burnout. Locating systems approaches in social epidemiologic research, we investigate the COVID19 phenomena and the wellbeing of FHCWs in the home care and Long-term Care Facilities (LTCFs) in BC. By capturing spatial, temporal and social determinants of COVID19 pandemic intersecting race, culture and working conditions of FHCWs, we build an agent-based model and identify complex behavior patterns that influence the quality of care and self-care strategies and to prevent high burdens of illness in key populations in BC.

Culturally safe dementia care: Building nursing capacity to work with First Nations elders with memory loss

This community-based research project will build capacity amongst nurses to care for First Nations Elders with memory loss in a culturally safe way. The objectives are:

  1. To translate First Nations perspectives on dementia  research findings into a knowledge translation intervention for front-line nursing staff based on traditional storytelling with Elders;
  2. To determine the knowledge, skills and values of nursing staff with respect to cultural safety and dementia care before and after the traditional storytelling intervention; and
  3. To assess the effectiveness of the KT intervention in terms of changing nursing practice and improving care for First Nations Elders with memory loss.

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Psychosocial determinants of adolescent health behaviour

There are numerous segments of the Canadian population who experience a disproportionate burden of ill health. A key issue in addressing this disparity is the early identification of those groups of people who are vulnerable to poor health outcomes over the course of their lifespan. Identification of these groups, and the factors leading to this vulnerability, is a priority for researchers. One area of interest is in identifying the early childhood determinants of health behaviours, such as a child’s health, stress in the family, economic conditions or neighbourhood safety. Dr. Stefania Maggi studies the extent to which early influences can predict which children will follow trajectories of health vulnerability throughout the lifespan. Her research uses a combination of administrative databases, national surveys, and longitudinal data collection to follow up on the same individuals over a number of years, spanning developmental phases from early childhood to adolescence and young adulthood. By identifying what factors in childhood increase the likelihood of unhealthy behaviours and/or poor educational outcomes during adolescence her research will inform early prevention efforts aimed at the social determinants of health.