All posts related to "study"

Sleep myths that could be affecting your health

In a recent study published in Sleep Health, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine in New York City identified 20 common sleep myths and found little or no evidence in support of these beliefs. These myths could potentially be affecting your overall health.

These sleep myths underwent an internet and literature review and a Delphi process (a systematic protocol for collecting expert opinions) with 10 sleep experts from the field of sleep medicine and research. The goal of the study was to change the general mindset about sleep, especially the belief that getting by on less sleep is desirable. The research occurred in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1 – focus groups
  • Phase 2 – email-based feedback to edit, add, or remove myths
  • Phase 3 – sleep experts rated myths based on falseness and public health significance, using a 5-point scale (1 being “not at all” and 5 being “extremely false”)
Sleeping woman on bed

Below are some of the common myths mentioned in the study:

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Simon Fraser University’s Pain Studies Lab is looking for research participants for a paid study on a mobile health application

You can participate if you are a person living with or a caregiver of someone living with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. 

Research Objective
Pain Studies Lab at Simon Fraser University is seeking participants above 45 years old for a study on a mobile health application.

What do I have to do in the study?
The study will take about 2 hours to complete. You will be shown a mobile application meant to measure and track arthritis, and you will be asked questions about the usability of this application. There will also be an open-ended section to discuss your opinions about the application.

You will receive $40 as appreciation for your effort and time after completing the study.

How to participate?
To participate, you must be:

  • Above 45 years old;
  • The person or the caregiver of the person who has a diagnosis of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis;
  • Using a smartphone in your daily life, such as using one or more Apps regularly;
  • Able to communicate in verbal and written English.

Interested? Have questions?
For more information or to book your appointment, please feel free to contact us:
Weina Jin
Telephone/text: 604-603-8530
Email: weinaj@sfu.ca

Digital Health in Canada

In recent years, public and private health organizations in Canada have invested in digital health technologies as a way to improve patient experiences, outcomes and quality of care.

Digital Health Care imagery

According to Valuing Canadians’ Secure Access to Their Health Information and Digital Health e-Services, a study commissioned by Canada Health Infoway, there are four main types of digital health services:

  1. e-View – Secure online platforms that allow citizens to access their personal health information
  2. e-Visit – A patient e-service that allows patients and/or their caregivers the ability to communicate with their healthcare team through secure e-mail or SMS messaging
  3. Virtual visit – A patient e-service that allows patients and/or their caregivers the ability to meet with their health care provider via a face-to-face virtual encounter, through functions such as video calls
  4. e-Rx Renew – A patient e-service that allows patients and/or their caregivers to renew prescriptions

What are the benefits of digital health?

Digital health is beneficial for health systems and Canadians, particularly those living with arthritis. For example, digital health services allow you to:

  • Avoid or reduce in-person visits to a healthcare provider’s office, helping you conserve energy and avoid prolonged periods of sitting in the car or public transit.
  • Increase productivity at work, as you are not taking time off work to see your healthcare provider.
  • Renew prescriptions online and see a history of past prescriptions.
  • Access care faster in rural and remote communities.
  • Access your digital health records, such as lab results. Many people with an inflammatory arthritis who are on a biologic or methotrexate get monthly blood tests. Monitoring these test results helps track disease activity and check that medications are not causing any issues.

In 2018, Canada Health Infoway conducted a national study on the value of digital health technology and found that Canadians collectively save $119 to $150 million every year from their use of virtual care and e-Services. Health systems save $106 to $134 million by reducing administration costs and helping Canadians avoid unnecessary in-person appointments, trips to the emergency room and medical errors.

How can I access these services?

The Connecting Patients for Better Health: 2018 report provides the latest availability, use and citizen interest in accessing their health information online as well as digitally enabled health services (e-services). The report is based on the results of four public opinion surveys conducted between February and March 2014 – 2018. There is an increased demand for digital health services. The number of people surveyed who accessed medical records electronically doubled, from 7% in 2016 to 15% in 2018.

Canada Health Infoway, a non-profit agency sponsored by the federal government, is working towards improving access to digital health services in Canada. Many health care centres are also working independently to provide their patients with online services. Consider asking the receptionist to see if any e-services are available at your healthcare provider’s office. Here are some examples of digital health services currently available in Canada:

e-View

In some provinces, patients have access to their medical records and or lab results online:

Virtual visits

e-Rx Renew

Other digital resources for arthritis

  • Arthritis ID is an app for patients that provides information to help detect, treat and manage arthritis. There is an interactive arthritis screening tool and questionnaire that will help you determine indications of a type of arthritis.
  • JointHealth™ Medications Guide enables patients to have a meaningful conversation with their rheumatologist and pharmacist about available therapy options, side effects and route of administration.
  • JointHealth™ Education courses help people living with arthritis learn to have more meaningful, fact-based conversations with their rheumatologists, other health care team members, families, friends and employers.
  • The Biosim•Exchange is an information hub for consumers to get the latest biosimilars news to help patients learn more biosimilars and their place among inflammatory arthritis treatments.
  • Arthritis Research Canada’s ANSWER: Decision Aid for Patients aim to help you decide if methotrexate is the right treatment option for you. You should use this tool only if you have rheumatoid arthritis and if your doctor has suggested methotrexate as a treatment option.

Knee pain? Join the SuPRA study and get active!

Knee pain? Join the SuPRA study and get active!

Participate in a new study that will use wearable activity trackers, paired with a new web application, and physical activity counselling to help you get more active!

Picture of runner's leg from knee to feet Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a major cause of chronic pain and disability. Physical activity can help to decrease pain and disability in joints affected by OA while benefiting your overall health.

If you are a person living with knee pain or knee OA, and interested in getting more active, we invite YOU to participate in the SuPRA study. Through participating in SuPRA you will learn how to get active with knee OA. You will be asked to attend an education session, use a Fitbit Flex activity tracker with the new web application, and receive counselling from a registered physiotherapist. The total time commitment for the study is 9 months. Enrol now to start in January 2018!

If you are interested, please fill out a 3-minute screening questionnaire.All responses will remain confidential, and you will be contacted by a research staff member within 48 hours to discuss your eligibility further.

Survey Link: http://open.arthritisresearch.ca/survey/index.php?r=survey/index/sid/143586/lang/en.

For more information, contact Halima Elmi, Research Coordinator at 604-207-4053 or 1-844-707-4053, or via email at supra.activity@arthritisresearch.ca.

Pre-RA Study: Open to patients with RA & their immediate family member

“Preventing Rheumatoid Arthritis (Pre-RA): perspectives of people with RA, people at risk and of rheumatologists” study
group picture of a multigenerational family

 

A research study funded by the Canadian Rheumatology Association’s Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology cAre (CIORA) wants to understand the perspectives of people with RA, those at risk of RA and health care providers about potential treatments aimed at preventing rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Consumer Experts is a partner organization on the project.

Are you:

  • Aged over 18?
  • Someone with rheumatoid arthritis OR you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling, adult child) with rheumatoid arthritis?
    AND,
  • Someone with access to a computer and the internet?

Join the study as a patient with RA: https://surveys.core.ubc.ca/PreRA_RAs/login.html

Join the study as a first-degree relative: https://surveys.core.ubc.ca/PreRA_FDRs/login.html

Continue reading

“Preventing Rheumatoid Arthritis (Pre-RA): perspectives of people with RA, people at risk and of rheumatologists” study

Logos for pre-ra rheumatoid arthritis study“Preventing Rheumatoid Arthritis (Pre-RA): perspectives of people with RA, people at risk and of rheumatologists” study

Join the study as a patient with RA or first-degree relative

A research study funded by the Canadian Rheumatology Association’s Initiative for Outcomes in Rheumatology cAre (CIORA) wants to understand the perspectives of people with RA, those at risk of RA and health care providers about potential treatments aimed at preventing rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Consumer Experts is a partner organization on the project.

Are you:

  • Aged over 18?
  • Someone with rheumatoid arthritis OR you have a first degree relative (parent, sibling, adult child) with rheumatoid arthritis?
    AND,
  • Someone with access to a computer and the internet?

Continue reading

Young generations reporting arthritis at an earlier age

Picture of youths in the park for arthritis articleA Canadian Study in Arthritis Care & Research concludes that young generations are reporting arthritis at an earlier age. The authors of the study believed it is linked to rising obesity rates.

The study looked at arthritis incidence in four different groups:

  • The World War II group (1935-1944) is the benchmark group.
  • The generation Xers (1965-1972), where the odds ratio for arthritis was 3.20.
  • The younger baby boomers (1955-1964), where the odds ratio for arthritis was 2.14.
  • The older baby boomers (1945-1954), where the odds ratio for arthritis was 1.48.

The study was conducted by Elizabeth Badley, PhD, of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and her colleagues. Bailey and her team found that severely obese people were 2.5 times more likely than people with a normal body mass index (BMI). Continue reading

Walk10Blocks helps get sedentary people moving

The Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute published a news article about the Walk10Blocks app, commenting how researcher-consumer-patient group collaboration can facilitate knowledge translation. The Walk10Blocks team thanks the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and other groups for sharing the Walk10Blocks app with their network.

Below is an excerpt of the article:

Researcher-consumer-patient Group Collaboration Facilitates Knowledge Translation

Two people walking with Walk10Blocks app on mobile phoneWalk10Blocks helps get sedentary people moving.

The development process behind a new app to help sedentary people get moving shows how unique partnerships between researchers, consumers, and patient groups can lead to innovative health research. Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) scientists Dr. Linda Li and Dr. Teresa Liu-Ambrose credit the collaboration between themselves and consumer and patient groups, including Arthritis Consumer Experts, the Alzheimer Society of B.C., and CARP (the Canadian Association of Retired Persons), for the development of the Walk10Blocks app.

Dr. Linda Li, professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of British Columbia and Canada Research Chair in Patient-Oriented Knowledge Translation at UBC and Arthritis Research Canada. 

“We’re very proud of this collaboration. It’s a perfect example of how researchers getting together with patient and public groups can come up with innovative ideas and actually make things happen,” says Dr. Li.

“I’ve built apps before for other research projects and it usually takes a very long time. Walk10Blocks only took one year from conception to testing launch in the community. When consumer and patient groups are involved–they know what works and they’re really driven to get things done fast and done right.”

Walk10Blocks is the first app designed specifically to help adults get over the hurdle of starting regular physical activity by encouraging them to walk 10 blocks a day (or about one kilometre per day), which according to research may help delay or minimize risk of dementia and improve cardiovascular and joint health over time. 

Walk10Blocks, which is currently available for free on iTunes, can be installed on an iPhone 5S or above. The app uses the phone’s core motion sensor to collect data about a person’s movement activity. The app converts this activity into a walking log, which tracks the distance travelled throughout the day and how many theoretical city blocks have been covered. The goal is to encourage sedentary people to walk at least 10 blocks per day. The app offers motivating, friendly alerts, has easy-to-read measurements, helps set reasonable walking goals, and awards badges for meeting goals.

By downloading the app, Walk10Blocks participants have also agreed to take part in an innovative research study that uses the app to collect data through surveys. Information gathered for the study includes patients’ fatigue, pain, mood, stress, and walk ratings to give researchers a better understanding of what individuals’ walking opportunities look like. The study also aims to help users recognize and understand their own physical activity levels and sedentary behaviour, create awareness about neighbourhood resources, and determine the overall feasibility of the app.

Development of the app started with one of Drs. Li and Liu-Ambrose’s research groups consulting with patient groups and receiving a grant from the Improving Cognitive and Joint Health Network (ICON), a Canadian Institutes of Health Research knowledge translation catalyst network.

“What we heard loud and clear through our consultations was a desire for more efficient, effective use of what we know about physical activity and its health benefits in terms of managing diseases, especially for people whose health may worsen without it.”

Early on, the groups met with Dr. Liu-Ambrose, researcher at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health and the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, who shared with them current evidence with relation to exercise and cognitive function. According to Dr. Li, the group was most interested in findings from a nine-year observational study in the U.S. that showed that walking approximately 10 city-sized blocks results in better cognition and better brains.

“That specific information had our consumer groups almost jumping for joy because to them it was finally something concrete that could be used and brought back to stakeholder groups as the minimum amount of physical activity you needed to do for positive effect,” according to Dr. Li.

Dr. Liu-Ambrose, who is also Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, and Cognitive Neuroscience, says the group got quite motivated by the idea that you don’t necessarily need to run a marathon to have a positive impact on brain health. “This led to the concept of the app and Cheryl Koehn, president of Arthritis Consumer Experts and head of our arthritis patient group, really has been the driving force behind it.”

“The evidence is accumulating to suggest that exercise is beneficial–but where there is a void is how to put it into action. The app is a bit of that component,” she adds. “When everyone has a common goal and shared interests, I think that’s when we make good progress.”

“And so in many ways, recommending regular activities, such as moderately paced walking, seems to be a pretty reasonable approach for promoting physical and cognitive health over the lifespan.”

Have you started talking about biologic medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis with your doctor?

Super Study bannerThe latest online tool to help make your treatment decisions.

We are looking for people to participate in a study to determine the usefulness of a web-based program designed to aid people with rheumatoid arthritis in making decisions to start or switch biologics.

If you have started discussing STARTING OR SWITCHING BIOLOGICS with your doctor, we invite you to participate in this study.

You may be eligible if you:

  1. Have a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis
  2. See a rheumatologist
  3. Have started discussing switching or starting biologic medication with your doctor
  4. Have a valid email and internet access

This study can be completed from home or anywhere with internet access. Any information you provide will be completely confidential. An honorarium will be provided for your time.

If you would like more information, please contact Jasmina Geldman, Research Coordinator by phone at 604-207-4007, toll free 1-877-871-4575, or email jgeldman@arthritisresearch.ca. Please also visit our UBC Study Website for more information.

Chronic diseases decrease social participation in middle-age population

Three girls in front of a blue backgroundA recent study from McMaster University found that middle-aged adults living with a combination of arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and/or depression are more likely to experience disability and limited involvement in society.

The research was conducted by Lauren Griffith, an associate professor in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatics and the McLaughlin Foundation Professorship in Population and Public Health. Researchers from McMaster University published the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community HealthThey found that physical and mental chronic diseases, alone or in combination, were associated with disability and reduced social participation. The results differed by gender and age. Continue reading