Analytical App to Support Shared Decision Making for Pregnant Women - QC-186

Preferred Disciplines: Social sciences or Health sciences (Post-Doc)
Project length: 20 months (5 units)
Approx. start date: As soon as possible
Location: Quebec City, QC
No. of Positions: 1
Preferences: The person should work at the offices of the Canada Research Chair in Shared Decision Making and Knowledge Translation, in Quebec City (Centre de recherche sur les soins et les services de première ligne de l’Université Laval (CERSSPL-UL))
Company: Greybox Solutions Inc

About Company:

Greybox is a Montreal-based, digital turbo-charged healthcare platform enabling personal human coaching relationship between outcome-motivated healthcare professionals and people looking for healthcare services.Its objectives are:

  • Increase access to quality healthcare via our self-management program
  • Improve health and wellness while lowering costs
  • Provide to users the knowledge about their condition, thus enabling a high level of engagement.

Summary of Project:

All pregnant women and their partners have to make the difficult decision about whether to take a screening test to assess the risk that the fœtus has certain genetic abnormalities. Yet many women are not aware of the implications of the different options on offer and have difficulty figuring out what’s most important for them and their partners. But without this information, the decision-making process is jeapardized, leading to decisions that do not reflect the preferences of those involved and eventually leading to decisional regret. It is therefore essential that pregnant women and their partners are properly informed about the advantages, disadvantages and risks of these screening tests and that they are supported in making such decisions. Several strategies can ensure that this occurs, including the use of decision aids which enable pregnant women and their partners to engage in a process of shared decision-making, whereby they collaborate with clinical providers in making an informed decision based on their values, needs and preferences. The Canada Research Chair in Shared Decision Making and Knowledge Translation has led several studies on shared decision-making in the context of prenatal screening and has developed a decision aid that was found by pregnant women and their partners to be relevant and acceptable. Also, a literature review showed that using digital decision aids, which can be used on tablets or smartphones, can have a positive impact on shared decision-making and user satisfaction.

Greybox Solutions creates mobile digital preventive health solutions to support individuals in managing their chronic disease. Specfically, it integrates personalized measuring devices into a clinical health platform with the ultimate goal of improving population health. Greybox Solutions Inc. and the Canada Research Chair in Shared Decision Making and Knowledge Translation have established a solid relationship to develop mechanisms and technologies that help patients and healthcare professionals make informed health decisions.

Implementation of this technology could improve the dissemination of information, decision-making, optimal uptake of prenatal screening tests, and ultimately the health of all pregnant women and their partners in Quebec. Our research will contribute to filling this knowledge gap by providing pregnant women and their partners with clear and relevant information on the risks and advantages of each prenatal screening option, as well as its potential impacts on their daily life.

Research Objectives/Sub-Objectives:

  • The goal of this research project is to validate and evaluate the impact of a mobile decision aid on prenatal screening in the clinical context.
  • The selected candidate will undertake a pilot project on the usability and usefulness of this technology for pregnant women and their partners, for healthcare professionals, and for decision-makers in three different kinds of clinic.


  • Recruitment will take place in Quebec city and participants will be in the three main health types of facility offering prenatal care in Quebec:
    • birthing centres operated by midwives
    • family practice groups and
    • obstetrical clinics in hospitals.
  • A total of 135 individuals will be recruited, i.e. 15 women-partner dyads, 15 decision-makers and 15 clinicians at each site.
  • Semi-structured interviews lasting an hour will be held with each participant to evaluate the usability and usefulness of the technology. Each interview will be audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

Expertise and Skills Needed:

  • University doctoral degree in an appropriate specialty (social sciences or health sciences) and one year of post-doctoral experience. In exceptional cases, the employer may consider candidates with a masters degree and four years of research experience.
  • Extremely self-sufficient in conducting scientific projects;
  • Proven experience in organizing work and producing project deliverables on time;
  • Work experience in continuous improvement perspective;
  • Experience in data analysis (qualitative or quantitative), in writing reports and designing research projects;
  • Experience in writing scientific papers and grant proposals;
  • Ability to grow in a complex environment and manage work priorities;
  • Ability to communicate easily in French and English, orally and in writing;
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Access)
  • Proficiency in other relevant software (management of bibliographic references, qualitative and quantitative data analysis);
  • Experience in conducting and writing systematic reviews (an asset)
  • Strong interpersonal skills; work in teams and partnerships.

For more info or to apply to this applied research position, please

  1. Check your eligibility and find more information about open projects.
  2. Interested students need to get the approval from their supervisor and send their CV along with a link to their supervisor’s university webpage by applying through the webform or apply directly to Benoit Roberge-Vallières

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