SRU projects

Current Projects

Evaluating the quality of socio-demographic data collected within a primary care setting:
An analysis of over 11,000 patients – Part 2
This study proposes to evaluate the quality of data on socio-demographic variables collected within the family practice at St. Michael’s Hospital using the Health Equity Survey. The second part of the study focuses on a qualitative understanding of the experience, implementation, and administration of the Health Equity Survey, and will also discuss the potential uses of the data. Patients, clerical staff and leadership will be interviewed and a focus group will be held for physicians and a nurse practitioner. The SRU is responsible for data collection and analysis. Client/Principal investigator: Andrew Pinto and Tara Kiran.

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Housing First for Homeless People with Mental Health Illness: Long-Term Outcomes (At Home Study)
A randomized controlled trial where participants were randomly assigned into a housing intervention treatment group or a treatment as usual group. Both groups were interviewed at baseline and at fixed intervals after the intervention. The “Housing First” approach provides safe, quality housing to people who are homeless and live with mental health issues, to help clients better focus on recovery. The study will generate evidence about participant outcomes. It will also identify the overall costs of “Housing First” and treatment as usual, taking into account how much the two study groups use costly services like hospitals, prisons and shelters. Client/Principal investigators: Drs. Stephen Hwang, Patricia O’Campo, Vicky Stergiopoulos. For more information about this project visit: www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/projects/at-home

GTA West Social Housing and Health (GTA West Study)
This experimental, longitudinal study compares and follows applicants on the waitlist for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) units , with those who have received RGI. The sample size is 500+ people at four different regions in the GTA, who are followed every six months. Client/Principal Investigator: Dr. James Dunn. For more information visit: http://www.crunch.mcmaster.ca/projects/gtaweststudy

Toronto Social Housing and Health (THH Study)
This experimental study follows Toronto Community Housing residents living in south east Toronto to determine if: (1) adults re-housed from aging public housing into a new mixed housing development are significantly more likely to show changes in mental health and general health status; and (2) Children re-housed from aging public housing into a new mixed housing development are significantly more likely to show changes in mental health, behavioral and developmental competencies. Client/Principal Investigator: Dr. James Dunn. For more information visit: www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/projects/socialhousinghealth or http://www.crunch.mcmaster.ca/projects/regent-park-revitalization

Past Projects

TC LHIN – Community Referral Services Scan: Community Services Referral Practices among TC LHIN Physicians
This evaluation will seek to understand how the primary care sector interacts with other sectors of the healthcare system, particularly providers within the community. As the gatekeepers of the healthcare system, it is important to understand how primary care providers select which community agencies are appropriate for their patients. This evaluation of usage patterns will provide further context to connecting patients with community services and provides an opportunity to learn about the gaps and barriers that primary care physicians face when accessing community services. Client/Principal investigator: Dr. Patricia O’Campo.

Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS) Database
The Occupational Health Clinic at St. Michael’s Hospital is drawing on a unique opportunity to collect and house information that will help address questions related to HAVS and track changes over time.  The purpose of the database is to prospectively collect basic demographic, clinical and test information that can be used to track changes in disease patterns, workplace characteristics and test results over time to be used for future research. Routine descriptive analysis (means, frequencies) will be conducted on the database an annual basis. Client/Principal Investigator: Dr. Aaron Thompson, Occupational Health Clinic, St. Michael’s Hospital. SRU role: Database development and data entry. For more information visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/programs/occupationalhealth/services.php

Our Health Counts – Urban Aboriginal Health Database Project
The goal of Our Health Counts is to improve Ontario’s urban Aboriginal health data, through the identification of the health indicators that are relevant to Canada’s urban Aboriginal People; and the development and application of a baseline population health database for urban Aboriginal People in Ontario. This data is needed to inform effective and culturally appropriate population health programs and policies to improve the health of Aboriginal individuals, families, communities, and nations. Client/Principal investigator: Dr. Janet Smylie. SRU role: Computer assistant instrument development and data management.  For more information about this project visit: www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/projects/our-health-counts/

Health in All Policies (HiAP)
The Health in All Policies concept is an initiative organized at the government level that understands that improving health overall requires actions from governments from both health and non-health sectors at various levels. This project involves conducting case studies of five selected HiAP initiatives in different countries to understand their experiences. Client/Principal investigator: Dr. Ketan Shankardass. For more information about the pilot project visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/reports/hiap/

TC LHIN – Language Services Toronto Program Evaluation
The project has a mixed-method two phase approach. Semi-structured interviews and surveys are being conducted with different project stakeholders including Toronto Central LHIN staff, service managers, service clinicians, service administrative staff and patients. The surveys for providers and patients are web-based and self-administered. The patient survey is also available in 10 languages. For more information visit: http://www.equityhealthj.com/content/14/1/83

St. Michael’s 3.0 – Patient and Family Advisory Panel
St. Michael’s 3.0 is a project to renew St. Michael’s Hospital; it will include renovations to the emergency department and a 17-storey state-of the art patient care tower. The Hospital Facilities Survey and the Hospital Retail Services Survey were the first surveys launched by the St. Michael’s 3.0 Patient and Family Advisory Panel. The panel was created to get feedback from St. Michael’s patients and their family members and friends to ensure that the development of St. Michael’s 3.0 meets their needs. Client/Principal Investigator: St. Michael’s Communications department. For more information visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/patient-family-advisory-panel/index.php

Health in All Policies (HiAP) – Pilot
The Health in All Policies concept is an initiative organized at the government level that understands that improving health overall requires actions from governments from both health and non-health sectors at various levels. This pilot project involved conducting case studies of three different areas (Sweden, South Australia, and Quebec) to understand their experiences with HiAP initiatives. Client/Principal investigators: Dr. Patricia O’Campo. For more information visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/reports/hiap/

Understanding Prolonged and Long-term Mechanical Ventilation in Canada
This is a mixed methods study that includes: Delphi Technique (web-based), Systematic Screening Processes (telephone, fax, web, mail and email), and National surveys with service providers and institutions. Main objectives: (1) To develop consensus definitions of transition points across the care continuum to inform seamless integrated care. (2) To develop a national inventory of institutions and service providers managing patients at risk of and requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation (PMV) or long-term mechanical ventilation (LTMV). (3) To describe current clinical care practices, available information and education resources for patients: (a) at-risk of LTMV in the community; (b) requiring PMV/LTMV in an institution; (c) requiring PMV/LTMV in the community; and (d) transitioning from pediatric to adult care requirements. Client/Principal investigator: Dr. Louise Rose. For more information visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/sru/sru-ventilation/

Problem Gambling and Housing Instability Qualitative Study
The main focus of this study is to describe the experiences of housing instability among men with gambling experiences. The study focuses on understanding the different pathways to housing instability, current barriers to treatment for gambling, and to understand the opportunities to intervene along the pathway to housing instability or problem/pathological gambling by conducting qualitative interviews with men who have experiences with gambling and housing instability. Client/Principal investigator: Dr. Flora Matheson.

Problem Gambling Prevalence Study
The purpose of the Gambling Prevalence study was to estimate the prevalence of problem gambling among clients of The Good Shepherd Centre (Toronto, Ontario). Data collection took place on-site at the centre using a web-based screening tool that provided a sub-clinical diagnosis for pathological gambling. Client/Principal investigator: Dr. Flora Matheson.

Regent Park Social Mix
This study investigated the experiences of social mix among public housing tenants, purchasers of market condominiums and non-resident users of new commercial and public services within Toronto’s Regent Park area. A total of 217 market condominium owners/tenants and public housing tenants were surveyed using in-person household surveys. A total of 300 users of the commercial and public services were recruited using time-location sampling at three pre-determined public locations. Client/Principal Investigator: Dr. James Dunn.

Urban HEART @ Toronto
Urban HEART stands for Urban Health Equity Assessment and Response Tool. In 2010, the World Health Organization launched Urban HEART to help city leaders and their communities resolve health and social inequities. This Urban HEART @ Toronto project involved recruiting experts to participate in Delphi panels to adapt the measurement tool so it can be used in Toronto. Client/Principal Investigator: Kelly Murphy. For more information visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/projects/urbanheart/

Housing, Health and Women’s Well-being
The purpose of this research was to learn about the role of housing in the health and social well-being of women by conducting qualitative interviews with women who have experienced recent relationship conflict and have lived in social, transitional or independent dwellings. The findings from this research will be used to help policy makers, health care providers, and researchers to develop programs with the goal of improving health and social well-being of women. Client/Principal investigators: Dr. Patricia O’Campo. For more information visit: http://www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/projects/housing-womens-wellbeing/

Project NEHW – Toronto Area Health Study/Neighbourhood Effects
on Health and Well-being

The purpose of this project was to develop an understanding of the relationship between neighbourhoods, health, and well-being. The study involved interviewing over 2400 participants from 48 neighbourhoods across the city of Toronto. The project uses data from multiple sources including face-to-face interviews as well as Census data, observational neighbourhood data, and provincial health information. Client/Principal investigators: Drs. Patricia O’Campo and Blair Wheaton. For more information about this project visit: www.stmichaelshospital.com/crich/projects/nehw