Canadian MSK Rehab Research Network

CIHR Network Catalyst Grant (Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation), 2020-2025.

Musculoskeletal (MSK) problems like arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, tendinopathies, and broken bones lead to pain and lack of mobility-the most common disabilities in Canada. The impact on individuals, families, and societies in suffering and loss of life roles or independence is tremendous. The Canadian MSK Rehab Research Network will mitigate the MSK burden in Canada through coordinated, national efforts to develop innovative teams, tools, and projects that accelerate high-quality research. Our network will leverage new wearable/web technologies to create novel rehab applications, and test the effectiveness of new, more accessible rehab services that lead to pain-free mobility and work participation for Canadians. Launched in 2016, the Canadian MSK Rehab Research Network brought together 80 researchers, collaborators and knowledge users, and 20 partners/consumer groups. Since then, the network has grown by 43%, research priorities were established, 17 pilot projects were supported, 23 trainees were integrated, and new teams were created. We built innovative funding and learning opportunities for trainees, and research platforms that allow us to share clinical and biomechanical data nationally. We will now build on these capacities and partnerships to develop studies that require national networks to conduct high impact MSK research to enhance mobility, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. We will link MSK research-intensive clinical centres and patient groups who will guide and develop large-scale national studies that will create new knowledge using the capacity and expertise of our network. Network values that are integrated in our work include: patient engagement, equity, working across disciplines and regions of Canadas, and meaningful training. Network activities will build capacity in MSK rehabilitation research and use national platforms to produce novel research findings.


Canadian Concussion Network

CIHR Network Catalyst Grant, 2020-2025.

Each year, an estimated 250,000 Canadians and more than 40 million people worldwide sustain a concussion. Children and adolescents account for 50% of concussions, mostly occurring during sport and recreational activities; in Canada, roughly 1 in 10 teens will seek medical care for a sport-related concussion annually. Approximately 15-30% of children and youth with concussion report persistent postconcussive symptoms; and many sustain recurrent concussions, which can result in acute, life threatening injury in rare instances and may have lifelong consequences. Despite this growing burden, evidence-informed approaches to prevent concussions, diagnose them rapidly and objectively, and treat them effectively are sorely lacking. Integrated, multidisciplinary, large-scale research programs on concussion are needed to address this challenge. Canada is home to an impressive array of scientists who are world leaders in concussion research; however, they remain siloed and uncoordinated, without a national network to establish and guide a national concussion research agenda. Along with a variety of stakeholders, including patients, clinicians, community organizations, government, and industry, Canadian concussion researchers have agreed to forge the Canadian Concussion Network (CCN). The CCN organizers represent multiple disciplines and institutions, and are leaders in national and international concussion initiatives. They co-created the plan for the CCN with a broad range of stakeholders and a multidisciplinary group of scientists and clinician-scientists. The CCN will promote innovative and collaborative research to improve the prevention, diagnosis/prognosis, and management of concussion, focusing on sport and youth. Through continuous engagement with our knowledge users, integrated knowledge translation, and development of highly qualified personnel, the CCN will drive a coordinated research agenda that will shape best practices and policies in Canada and internationally.


CIHR Centre for REACH in HIV/AIDS (REACH 3.0) - A National Canadian Research and Knowledge Mobilization Network to Connect People to Testing and Care and Reduce Stigma for HIV, HCV and other Sexually and Bloodborne Infections (STBBI)

CIHR, 2019-2024. 

Since 2009, the CIHR Centre for REACH (1.0/2.0) has been a Canadian leader in collaborative, interdisciplinary, and community-driven HIV/STBBI services and population health research. REACH supports a nation-wide team with hubs in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia to engage in innovative research, participatory evaluation, community-based research (CBR), and program/implementation science research in HIV, HCV and STBBIs. REACH has made significant research and capacity-building gains by engaging policy-makers, community-based agencies, clinicians, people with lived experience and researchers to respond to regional/national HIV health issues. REACH 3.0 will continue and advance the work of REACH to date - our vision is to be a broker of pragmatic solutions to end the HIV epidemic in Canada, and in so doing, to influence the course of HCV and other STBBIs. With this vision in mind, our 5-year goals are to contribute to efforts to increase the proportion of people living with HIV who are diagnosed to >95%, ensure that >95% of people who know their HIV status are on treatment, and for those with HIV on treatment, 95% have their virus suppressed. We will also contribute to efforts to ensure that HCV infection is cleared, and that HIV/HCV stigma is reduced so people have fewer barriers to testing, treatment and care. The REACH 3.0 Centre will provide research infrastructure and coordination for regional and national signature projects; provide capacity-building and career development for all team members; ensure that research findings are mobilized into services and policy action; and we will evaluate our outputs and outcomes to ensure we are meeting our goals. National signature research projects include implementation and scale up of innovative HIV, HCV and STBBI testing in Canada, as well as a major national initiative to document and create interventions for HIV and related stigma and discrimination.


Dementia and driving cessation

CIHR CCNA (Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging) Driving and Dementia Team (Team 16), 2019-2024.

Team 16: Driving & Dementia is led by Drs. Gary Naglie and Mark Rapoport, and Elaine Stasiulis is the program’s research associate. Working with a cross-Canada research team, they are creating interventions and generating knowledge to support people with dementia, family caregivers, and healthcare providers to meet the decision-making and psychosocial and health-related challenges posed by driving cessation. As of 2019, the team is in the final stages of developing and evaluating a web-based toolkit for driving cessation in persons with dementia. This toolkit is a curated collection of materials and resources (e.g., worksheets, videos, and driving assessments) with content geared to supporting individuals with dementia in the decision-making process and transition to non-driving. Two of their upcoming projects involve using implementation science and video technology to develop and evaluate: (1) an educational workshop intervention that will help healthcare providers develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to proactively facilitate timely driving cessation while supporting the transition to non-driving and optimizing individuals’ quality of life; and (2) a virtually-delivered group-based intervention for people with dementia and family caregivers that addresses the practical (e.g., alternative transportation) and psychological (e.g., identity, loss, and grief) aspects of driving cessation.  Another upcoming project will explore the safety and acceptability of autonomous vehicle technology for individuals with mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Using the high fidelity computerized driving simulator at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, this project will inform guidelines on which levels of vehicle automation and in what types of driving conditions can be safely used by this target group.


Prairie CRISM Node Proposal

CRISM-CIHR, 2015-2020.

CRISM is a national network of researchers, service providers, policy makers and people with lived experience. CRISM’s overall objective is to translate evidence-based interventions for substance misuse into clinical practice, community-based prevention, harm reduction, and health system changes. The intent of CRISM is to support the creation of more effective, personal, and adoptable intervention programs and services.