Saskatchewan Polytechnic collaborative research puts patients first

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Patient-oriented research is becoming the norm for health-related research, and for good reasons. It focuses on patient priorities and outcomes and includes patients as active collaborators throughout the research process.

“Patient-oriented research engages patients as partners and improves patient outcomes,” says Dr. Susan Blum, associate vice-president, Applied Research and Innovation. “This innovative, applied approach aims to improve Saskatchewan’s healthcare systems and practices.”

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has partnered with several organizations that support and promote patient-oriented research through the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR). Sask Polytech and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funds SCPOR along with nine partner organizations.

Several faculty at Sask Polytech are providing leadership in advancing patient-oriented research and engaging in learning opportunities with SCPOR.

Dr. Madeline Press, faculty, Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program, is conducting research in the area of end-of-life care to improve the care of palliative patients. Her project focuses on community-based inter-professional end-of-life care for patients with chronic disease, dementia or frailty.

Pamela Farthing, faculty, SCBcN program, is leading a research project focused on identifying the best methods to support young adults with diabetes who are transitioning to adult care. Her project aims to decrease morbidity and mortality associated with the disease through consultation with patients, family members, and healthcare providers. The research project aims to generate a foundation from which innovative interventions will be created to decrease the financial burden of this disease on patients and the health care system.

Another unique SCPOR project gives a voice to refugees and immigrants in Saskatchewan to help them overcome barriers to improve their mental health and wellbeing. This is not only beneficial to newcomers to Canada, but may also have a positive impact on Saskatchewan’s health system.

Dr. Sarah Kostiuk-Linford, faculty, SCBScN program, says, “The community identified that refugees experience several obstacles involving social connections, which, in return, can affect their mental health and well-being.” Kostiuk-Linford is working on this project to improve mental health of newcomers with Jayne Naylen Horbach, faculty, SCBScN program, two grad students and the Regina Open Door Society.

According to Dr. Netha Dyck, dean, School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences, Sask Polytech’s role with patient-oriented research and SCPOR demonstrates the leadership of our nursing and health sciences faculty. Designing an innovative research program that focuses on the patient’s perspective puts the patient first and fosters evidence-informed health care.

“Ensuring our research activity is about responding to the needs of our patients and health care system positions Sask Polytech on the cutting edge of nursing research and education,” says Dyck. “Our faculty are actively engaged in collaborative research and providing leadership in interdisciplinary collaboration with their colleagues, our students and community partners.”

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