2019 Research Spotlight: Dr. Mary Fox awarded CIHR grants for aging and health services studies

Exciting and important new research is coming!

This spring, YU-CARE Steering Committee member Dr. Mary Fox was awarded funding from two Canadian Institutes of Health Research grants to evaluate and improve health care services in Canadian rural communities.

In March, Dr. Fox was awarded funding for a three-year project aimed to improve hospital-to-home transitional care for persons with dementia in rural Ontario and Nova Scotia. In a field where there is minimal research focusing on functioning and transitional care, this project will impact strategies to enhance the delivery of care and help recover independent functioning of older people with dementia returning home from a hospital stay.

In a wholesome approach, the study will involve older people with dementia, their families, and health care providers in an evaluation of the ability of practical care strategies to meet their needs. Conclusions will be used to modify and integrate more effective care strategies in transitional care in rural communities. Read the March Yfile announcement for further details.

In May, Dr. Fox was also awarded a one-year “Transitions in Care Best & Wise Practices” grant. Her research will investigate how best to support health-care providers in implementing the service Warning Signs Intervention in rural Ontario communities.

The Warning Signs Intervention is a health service designed to support patients in detecting and responding to the warning signs of deteriorating health. This program has been successful in building knowledge and confidence amongst patients who manage their health at home, however implementation of the service in rural communities, where patients and families often live far from healthcare services, has yet to be supported.

The study, undertaken in collaboration with key stakeholders in rural Ontario and national researchers, will involve a survey and focus groups wherein health-care providers can discuss measures to successfully implement the service. The team will then systematically design an implementation plan to introduce the intervention to rural Ontario communities, creating room for the measurement of the implementation plan’s effectiveness in the future. Read the May Yfile story for more information.