Current Research

 

EVERYDAY LIVING

Will using your arthritis medications during pregnancy cause you or your baby to have more infections?

Mary De Vera, BSc, MSc, PhD, Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada; Assistant Professor, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

The goal of this research is to find out whether using these medications during pregnancy causes moms and babies to have more infections, so that appropriate prevention and monitoring can take place to ensure that both moms and babies can be healthy.

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A New Method to Measure Health Literacy

Principle Investigator: Dr. Mark Fitzgerald, Head of the UBC Respiratory Division and co-Director of UBC Institute for Heart and Lung

The purpose of this study is to develop a new test to measure HL based on recent recommendations from the Canadian Expert Panel on Health Literacy.

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Assessing Meaningful Patient Engagement in Research

Principal Investigator: Clayon Hamilton, PhD. Postdoctoral Research Fellow.

This research will create and test a measurement tool, the Patient Engagement in Research Scale (PEIRS). The PEIRS will assess patients’ perceptions of being meaningfully engaged as Patient Research Partners in health research…

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It IS About Us

Co-Principal Investigators: Linda Li, Professor, Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia and Jenny Leese, PhD Student, Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia

The It IS About Us project is jointly designed by Arthritis Research Canada’s Arthritis Patient Advisory Board (APAB) and health researchers who have experience in engaging with patients in research.

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PRECISION: Preventing Complications from Inflammatory Skin, Joint and Bowel Conditions

Principal Investigator: John Esdaile, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FCAHS, Scientific Director

People with inflammatory diseases of the skin, joint, or bowel have better treatment options for managing their disease than ever before. They are now more likely to die from complications of the disease than the disease itself. With more knowledge on what causes complications and how to reduce them, we believe prevention is possible.

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Work Productivity Study

Principal Investigator: Diane Lacaille, Senior Research Scientist of Rheumatoloy, MD, MHSc, FRCPC.

This study aims to find out which questionnaire best captures the impact of arthritis on a person’s ability to perform their job, so we can find out which one is the best to use in clinical studies and trials evaluating the effectiveness of medications or other interventions on a person’s ability to work.

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Reducing Cognitive Impairment and Improving Joint health in Older Adults

Principal Investigators: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD.

This study will develop and test tools to improve the use of effective prevention and treatment by the public. Additionally, we will evaluate implementation strategies and train the next generation of researchers to incorporate digital media in delivering health information.

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How can online physical activity monitoring tools be used in arthritis care?

Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD.

For people with arthritis, doing physical activity can reduce pain and improve their ability to move around. Despite these benefits, less than half of Canadians with arthritis are physically active. Many do not have appropriate access to health professionals to support them in staying active safely.

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OSTEOARTHRITIS

 

SuPRA: A Physical Activity Intervention

Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD.

In this study, we will test if a new program can improve physical activity and decrease the sitting time in people with knee osteoarthritis…

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Track OA: Improving physical activity using a wearable activity tracker: pilot testing a new model of care for knee osteoarthritis

Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD

We will examine factors that can influence arthritis patients’ use of these tools from the perspectives of patients, health professionals, and health care decision makers. This study takes an important step forward in discovering how people with arthritis could use these tools with their health professionals to support their physical activity.

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OPEN (Osteoarthritis Physical Activity & Exercise Net): Can an interactive website increase physical activity in people with previously undiagnosed early knee osteoarthritis?

Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD

Our project directly targets physical inactivity at a time when the joint damage tends to be mild, and when people are more motivated to adopt a healthy behaviour. If the OPEN is found to be effective in improving physical activity, it opens further opportunities to promote early diagnosis and to implement lifestyle interventions.

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IMPAKT-HiP: Preventing Hip Pain

Principal Investigator: John Esdaile, Scientific Director, MD, MPH, FRCPC, FCAHS

The goal is to show how physical activity while interacting with one or more subtle deformities can cause cartilage damage and eventually OA.

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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

 

IMPROVING QUALITY OF CARE FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Co-Principal Investigators:

Claire Barber MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada

Diane Lacaille, MD, MHSc, FRCPC, Senior Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada, Professor, Division of Rheumatology, Faculty of Medicine, UBC, Acting Co-Head Academic Affairs, Department of Medicine, UBC, Mary Pack Chair in Arthritis Research (Rheumatology)

One approach to monitoring and improving the quality of care provided to patients is the implementation of a balanced scorecard. Like a report card, a balanced scorecard is a structured approach to improving efficiency and performance that represents viewpoints from multiple stakeholder perspectives.

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Active self-management of rheumatoid arthritis utilizing a fitness tracker.

Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD.

The research will address the following: Can an online program, combining symptom/disease activity monitoring and physical activity counselling by a physiotherapist (PT) improve self-management ability in people with RA?

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Hip Fractures and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Principal Investigator: Allyson Jones, Professor, Dept Physical Therapy, University of Alberta, PT PhD.

Although persons with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at risk for breaking their hips, few studies have specifically looked at whether the burden of hip fracture is greater in patients with RA than patients with hip fractures from the general population. Using data from the BC government, we have a unique opportunity to examine hip fracture in a BC population-based group with RA.

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Providing appropriate rheumatoid arthritis care to First Nations populations

Principle Investigators: Cheryl Barnabe, MD, MSc, FRCPC and Glen Hazlewood, MD, PhD, FRCPC

Evidence based therapies are those shown to give the best results based on evidence from well-designed and conducted research. Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with evidence-based therapies prevents joint damage and disability.

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OPAM-IA: A Physical Activity Intervention

Principal Investigator: Linda Li, Senior Research Scientist of Clinical Epidemiology, BSc(PT), MSc, PhD.

OPAM-IA is a program that uses Fitbit Flex (wireless physical activity tracker) paired with FitViz (new application), and physical activity counselling to help people with RA and SLE be more physically active safely and at their own pace…

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The Arthritis Health Journal: An Online Tool for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Principal Investigators: Diane Lacaille, Senior Research Scientist of Rheumatoloy, MD, MHSc, FRCPC and Paul Adam, MSW.

The Arthritis Health Journal was developed to help patients monitor their symptoms, track their disease activity, and develop actions plans with their rheumatologists that will help them manage their rheumatoid arthritis. This online tool can provide early warning when targets are not being met so that treatment can be modified as needed.

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Care for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients in BC: The Impact of Care Gaps

Principal Investigator: Diane Lacaille, Senior Research Scientist of Rheumatoloy, MD, MHSc, FRCPC.

We are evaluating how variations in RA care and treatment strategies impact outcomes important to people with arthritis, such as physical function, risk of work loss, and premature death. Our results will provide evidence to help policy-makers, clinicians and people with arthritis evaluate and make informed decisions about health care services.

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OTHER TYPES OF ARTHRITIS

 

Testing of System-Level Performance Measures for Inflammatory Arthritis

Principal Investigator: Claire Barber MD PhD FRCPC Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary

In collaboration with arthritis stakeholders across Canada and the AAC, we have developed a set of performance measures to evaluate the Models of Care’s ability to provide access and timely treatment for patients with IA. Our results will contribute to the development of consistent measures of access to care and treatment across Canadian centers and to the advocacy for arthritis care in Canada.

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Managing Lupus and you: Navigate your journey with MyLupusGuide – Part II

Principal Investigator: Paul Fortin, MD, MPH, FRCPC, Research Scientist, Arthritis Research Canada; Tenured Professor and Canada Research Chair on Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases, Centre de Recherche, Université Laval

The objectives of this study were to develop the Lupus Interactive Navigator (LIN)*, a web-based self-management program for people with SLE, and test the LIN for usability and acceptability.

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Measuring the risks and costs of steroid use in individuals with systemic lupus erythematosus

Principal Investigator: Professor Ian N Bruce MD FRCP, Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology, University of Manchester

This study is investigating how much of later occurring long term damage can be credited to steroid use in the treatment of SLE patients. The severity of this risk across all dosage levels of steroids is being measured to better understand what constitutes a “safe” steroid dose.

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Arthritis Care for Indigenous Populations

Principal Investigator: Cheryl Barnabe, Research Scientist, MD, MSc, FRCPC.

Arthritis is the most common chronic disease in Indigenous populations, particularly severe inflammatory arthritis. The main goal of my program of research is to describe and find solutions to the inequalities in inflammatory arthritis care and outcomes in Canada’s Indigenous populations.

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The Economic Challenges of SLE: Measuring and Mitigating the Impact

Principal Investigator: Ann Clarke, Research Scientist of Rheumatology, MD, MSc.

Many have written about the commonness of SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus) but few have described the economic challenges experienced by these patients and fewer still have documented their lost productivity.

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Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Complications in People with SARDs

Principal Investigator: Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, MD, MSc, PhD.

The goal of our study is to determine if people with SARDs have an increased risk of developing complications like heart attack, stroke or venous thromboembolism. Changes in risk of developing these complications over time are also being explored.

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Striving for a Cure: Enhancing Our Understanding of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis

Principal Investigator: Hyon Choi – Research Scientist of Rheumatology, MD, DrPH, FRCPC. Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

The study is open to the public; to be eligible to take part, participants must have a diagnosis of PsC or PsA, which is confirmed by study rheumatologists/dermatologists. Participants are seen on a yearly basis for five years and receive a physical assessment, blood draw, questionnaires, and if applicable, x-rays of arthritic joints at each visit.

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