Saskatchewan Snapshot

The Future is Bright - Come Learn about our SCPOR Trainee Research

Tuesday November 17, 11:00 - 12:00
Moderator: Tami Waldron
SCPOR proudly supports trainees across Saskatchewan! Traineeships are offered to those who are currently undertaking patient-oriented research projects. These individuals are based within our partner organizations, including: University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina, and Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Traineeships are offered at the undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, and medical resident levels. Below are a few presentations that highlight the excellent patient-oriented research our trainees are conducting.

Examining patient-oriented outcomes in an internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy program for post-secondary students with anxiety and depression 

Vanessa Peynenburg (Principal Investigator), Bryton Luxton (Patient Partner), Khadlja Syed (Patient Partner)

Project Background: Post-secondary students are at an elevated risk for developing mental health concerns and many students face barriers to accessing professional care. Some students may find alternatives methods of therapy delivery, such as Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT), more desirable than face-to-face services. In ICBT, patients review treatment materials over the Internet and also typically receive therapist support via email on a weekly basis. Past studies suggest that ICBT can improve depression and anxiety symptoms but have not focussed on outcomes identified by students. Student partners with lived experience can help identify outcomes that are important to students.  


The Lived Experience of Seniors Physically Distancing and Socially Isolating during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Heather Nelson (Researcher), Deb Norton (Patient Partner), Bev Ziefflie (Researcher), Rhonda Unique (Researcher), Paula Mayer (Researcher), Susan Page (Patient Partner)

Project background: The Covid-19 pandemic led to many changes  that affected the entire population. The research team, including two patient partners, was particularly interested in the impact of physical distancing on seniors. The research question that guided the study was: What were the lived experiences of seniors physically distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic in Saskatchewan? The requirements to physically distance during the early stages of the pandemic left many people socially isolated. As a patient-oriented research project, the two seniors on our team directed the project to prioritizing two aims; the emotional impacts of seniors physically distancing and how seniors stayed connected and engaged.


Black African Student-Oriented Perceptions on Mental wellness, Racial Ethnic Identities, and school experiences in Saskatchewan

Project background: There is a wealth of literature on the study of Racial-Ethnic Identity (REI) among black adolescents and children in Canada and especially in the United States. In Canada for instance, there is a growing interest in the study of Racial-Ethnic Identity among African-Canadian young adolescents that identifies the complications and impacts of political, and social inequalities on academic achievement and mental health (Barr & Neville, 2014; Dei & James, 1993; Losen & Orfield, 2002; Smith & Lalonde, 2003). These complications and several reasons such as the salient incidence of police brutality, an increasing number of preventable outcomes such as suicide and self-harm, depression, racism, highly publicized incidences of violence against black teenagers, and the increased number of Africans in Canada by immigration, inter-marriages, and birth, has motivated a growing interest in the study of Racial-Ethnic Identity among black children and young adolescents in Canada (Dei & James, 1993; Mushonga & Henneberger, 2020). This research will add to the growing body of studies to understand the Racial-Ethnic Identity and mental health and well-being of black and continental African children and young adolescents through a blended qualitative methodology of the narrative case study and student-oriented research methodology. 

Juliet Bushi (Principal Investigator)

SCPOR Patient-Oriented Research Academy Videos

In the beginning of 2020, SCPOR held a video competition for our trainees. This offered the opportunity for trainees to create knowledge translation products in the form of three minute videos. We are excited to share the videos from the winners of this competition!

Unifying for Health Equity: Revitalizing the Saskatchewan Health System to Ensure Accessibility to Care for Immigrants

Lindsey Boechler (SCPOR Trainee), Harmanpreet Singh (Patient Partner), Lauren McTaggart (Change Maker), Dalise Hector (Change Maker), Raena Peasley (Change Maker), Joanne Marta (Health Care Professional), Jana Garinger (Health Care Professional)

Project background: When presented with the opportunity to participate in the SCPOR Patient Oriented Research Academies, I brought our patient oriented research team together to see if our members were interested in sharing their experience of being involved on our Health Equity research team over the past nine months. My past experience is that many people shy away when asked to share their experiences on camera. That was not the case with our team. The excitement, insight and engagement our team brought to the table when presented with this opportunity was energizing and heart warming. Our team never ceases to amaze me through their support of our project and their willingness to embrace the various roles and tasks that are presented along the way.
We decided to create a documentary style video to showcase how our study incorporates the elements of patient oriented research and to share the impact that taking a patient oriented research approach has had on our project and team members alike. Although team members who had volunteered to be interviewed were asked not to script responses, they were provided the questions that they would be asked in advance to help put their minds at ease and to guide them in reflecting on their experiences throughout our patient oriented research journey to date. The interview questions were intentionally designed to be open-ended, providing the interviewees an opportunity to personalized their responses in a manner that was meaningful to them.
When initially reviewing the criteria of the video competition, three minutes sounded like an abundance of time to explain how our project incorporated the elements of patient oriented research and the impact this has had.  However, once we completed filming and began editing, the importance of taking a patient oriented research approach and how meaningful our project is to our team members was increasingly evident.  This made the editorial process very difficult. I now have a much better understanding of the term “hard cuts” in the film making world. That being said, the editorial process enabled our footage to be transformed into a profound depiction of the health disparities being faced by immigrants and the importance of engaging in patient oriented research to create change that ensures equitable accessibility to the provincial health system.
In sum, our team would like to thank SCPOR for providing us the opportunity to enter the patient oriented research Academies. It allowed us an opportunity to come together to reflect on our experiences thus far as well as share our experiences with others in hopes of growing patient oriented research. Our team has experienced the positive impact of patient oriented research firsthand. That being said, we encourage other researchers to reach out to those who have been directly impacted when trying to find the solution to a challenge. You will be pleasantly surprised by the knowledge and insight lived experiences provide.


Patients first, karate always: The impact of sport for low-income youth

Heather Nelson (SCPOR Trainee), Duane Banman, Lorna Kathol, Christa Hunt

Project background: The project I am working on is The impact of sport for low-income youth. The project will examine the barriers and benefits to sport participation for low-income youth. Traditional karate is the sport of interest in this research project. The goal of the project is to examine the social and mental health benefits of sport and the barriers hindering sport participation in order to help organizations improve sport participation for low-income youth. This project is based on a program that I have been involved with for many years that collaborates with community schools in order to promote karate participation. 30-40 youth participate in karate each week. Stakeholders for this project include SaskSport, Midwest Karate, the International Traditional Karate Federation, and All Nations Hope. Data collection for this project will begin in April.
Parent advocates (patients) have been involved from the beginning. They are an active part of the research team and have
assisted with community engagement groups and research meetings. They have helped direct this project towards mental and social benefits of sport as these were priorities for the parents. They are also involved in knowledge dissemination through this video and will be in the future as results come available.


SMART Indigenous Youth: A Culturally Appropriate Land-Based Active Living Iniative to Improve Indigenous Youth Mental Health in Saskatchewan

Dr. Tarun Katapally (Principal Invetigator), Eric Kwabia (SCPOR Trainee, Researcher), Luan Manh Chu (Researcher), Dr. Pinal Patel (Researcher), Prasanna Kannan (Researcher), Susannah Walker (Researcher), Anne Dorion (Researcher), Kayla Stevenson (Researcher), Jason Dejarlais (Partner), Christina Johns (Partner), Eric Honestschlager (Partner)

Project background: The video is a recruitment video used in recruiting our patient citizen scientists our SMART Indigenous Youth: A Culturally Appropriate Land-Based Active Living Initiative project to Improve Indigenous Youth Mental Health in Saskatchewan. The video highlights the needs for patient citizen scientists to come on board and what impact their contributions will have in shaping the world and their communities.