Built Environmental Impact on Residents’ Quality of Life and Staff Care Practices in a Long-Term Care Facility: Pre- and Post-relocation at the Existing “Views” and Newly-Constructed Innovative “Village” Model in Comox, British Columbia

The importance of the built environment in long-term care homes is recognized as a key component in providing good quality care and support for the residents, particularly those living with dementia. Well-designed, supportive environments can promote way finding and orientation, improve level of autonomy in activities of daily living, functioning, engagement in meaningful activity, and reduce responsive behaviours, such as anxiety, agitation and aggression.

Addressing Barriers in the Use of Wearable Medical Devices by Ontario Seniors

Why do some users, particularly seniors, refuse to wear a medical device which tracks their vital signs with the aim of improving their health? This is not a strictly medical issue, rather the motivations behind deciding not to wear a medical device regardless of the health benefits is a problem which can be investigated by social scientists.

Assisting newcomers affected by Covid19 through music therapy and breathwork

We will be working closely with people experiencing Covid19 symptoms that linger beyond weeks or months after getting sick, or those struggling with their mental health, especially if they are a part of the immigrant/refugee (newcomer) population in Alberta. We will be creating a virtual platform to do some music therapy and breathing exercises to improve our mental health and to focus on our overall wellbeing. We will work together and seeking feedback from our participants.

Investigating the Effect of Cognitive Training Simultaneously with Application of either Active or Sham Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation on the Executive Brain Functions in Dementia Population

Built upon our successful pilot projects, the goal of this project is to investigate the effect of transcranial alternative current stimulation (tACS) paired with cognitive exercises in a placebo-controlled study on individuals with dementia, and develop novel technologies to monitor its effects and also predict a patient’s response to a treatment at baseline. This project can lead to an efficient optimized personalized treatment strategy for dementia.

The Development and Implementation of a Data Management Strategy for a Community Mental Health Organization - Year two

While the use of “big data” in the business world and health sector is well underway, mental health services are slower to use their big data, particularly for research and decision-making purposes. Researchers have identified a need to explore the use of big data in mental health organizations, such as identifying strategies and tools to optimize data use, and examining the role of big data in mental health service delivery and policy development.

Secure Cross-service Genomic Data Federated Analysis with GraphQL

Health research data is growing in volume, but also in richness. Health research data sets now routinely contain structured clinical data, unstructured clinical notes, genomics reads and variants, other “‘omics” data like RNA expression, transcriptomics, or epigenomic data, and medical imaging, with more data types coming each year.
A challenge in making this range of data types accessible while maintaining high privacy and security safeguards is extensively enabling queries across the individual tools which serve each kind of data in any combination.

HiSarah: A Voice Assistant for Seniors

Many voice and chat systems have emerged with the advancement of deep learning and big data processing technology like
Alexa. However, there is still a large gap in implementing human-like conversation systems and there is a stigma around
acceptance of the technology.

Examining the patient experience with electronic cognitive behavioural therapy

Electronic or internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (eCBT has been implemented widely in healthcare settings, but has become even more prevalent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting decrease in availability of face-to-face treatment. The purpose of this study is to explore the personal experiences of patients and providers who have transitioned between face-to-face CBT and eCBT and their motivations for switching and persisting in the eCBT modality. This project will add to the limited research on the implementation of eCBT in real-world healthcare settings.

Exploring the Use of Simulation-Based Learning with Community-based Settings to Promote Clinical Practice Competencies in Practitioners

This project seeks to answer the overarching research question, how can the use of simulation-based learning (SBL) within a community-based setting improve access to training and the development of clinical practice competencies in practitioners (e.g. social work/psychology students/professionals). The project will expand access to experiential learning within a community-based setting using multiple modalities within the area of SBL (live, in-person, virtual, and gaming simulations) to increase access to training and upskilling opportunities for both student and professionals.

Developing best practices for culturally appropriate programming to promote mental health equity among BIPOC youth

Mental health is a growing concern for Canadian youth, with higher rates of mental health concerns in youth who are BIPOC. As a result, many mental health programs are established to detect and treat concerns in youth, with the goal of reducing mental health burden in adulthood. However, BIPOC youth face many systemic barriers to accessing mental health resources, therefore highlighting the need for mental health programs to acknowledge the unique needs of BIPOC youth.