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Elevating Patient-Oriented Research for a Healthier Saskatchewan

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Funding Results from SHRF and SCPOR’s 2019-20 Sprout Grant Announced

Eleven research teams that engage patients as partners throughout the research process join the ranks of Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) and Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) Sprout Grant recipients.

Patient-oriented research goes beyond merely involving patients in the research process and instead focuses on answering questions and researching topics that are driven by patient concerns and priorities. This engagement of patients as partners has been changing the research landscape in Saskatchewan over the past five years. As part of the national Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research, Saskatchewan’s support unit, the Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR), was created through a partnership of eight provincial organizations, including SHRF.

Together over the past four years, SHRF and SCPOR have offered six funding competitions that have supported the growth of patient-oriented research in Saskatchewan. The latest funding recipients of Sprout Grants include research teams that are tackling topics such as developing mental health interventions for Saskatchewan farmers and their families; improving emergency care for patients who use opioids; and developing a better understanding of medicinal cannabis use for inflammatory bowel disease.

The changes to Saskatchewan’s health research ecosystem go beyond the impacts of the 44 projects and multidisciplinary teams that have been funded by SHRF and SCPOR over the years. In offering these funding opportunities that asked teams of researchers, health care practitioners, decision makers, and patients to come together, it was necessary to look at the processes used to review and evaluate these research proposals.

That is how patients became involved in the review process. This involvement grew from two patient and family advisor representatives involved in the review of applications, to training and executing a full patient review committee for patient-oriented research funding competitions. Now research proposals are evaluated by both patient and peer reviewers who collectively determine the success of projects based not only on scientific merit, determined by peer reviewers, but also in the quality and depth of patient engagement and patient-driven priorities, determined by patient reviewers.

“This was my second opportunity to review research grants, evaluating applications from a patient engagement lens,” says Brenda Andreas, patient reviewer for SHRF and SCPOR. “This research goes beyond merely including patients and takes a deeper dive into the how and the where patients are embedded from the beginning of the process to the knowledge translation. Most importantly it supports collaboration and brings the voice of the patient into the conversation.”

“As SHRF’s initial investment and SCPOR’s first phase comes to an end, the longevity of this initiative is in the ways it has not only increased the involvement of patients in health research, but in the new processes that have influenced and become embedded in the way we do our work moving forward to ensure we are funding research that matters to Saskatchewan people,” says SHRF CEO, Patrick Odnokon.

“What we have been able to accomplish over the last five years is a testament to what is possible when we work together,” says SCPOR Executive Director, Jackie Mann. “These grants represent an elevated patient-oriented research collaboration that engages patients, families, clinicians, researchers and policy-makers with the purpose of improving patient care and the health system in Saskatchewan.”

About SHRF – SHRF is the provincial funding agency that funds, supports and promotes the impact of health research that matters to Saskatchewan. SHRF collaborates with stakeholders to contribute to the growth of a high-performing health system, culture of innovation and the improved health of citizens by strengthening research capacity and competitiveness, increasing the investment in health research in Saskatchewan and aligning research with the needs of our stakeholders.

About SCPOR – The Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research (SCPOR) is one of 11 provincial/territorial units led by CIHR to build provincial and national capacity for patient-oriented research. With support from the governments of Canada and Saskatchewan, eight provincial organizations provide funds and in-kind contributions. These organizations include: University of Saskatchewan, eHealth Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, Ministry of Health, Saskatchewan Health Authority, University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

For more information contact:

Nikki Desjardins, Communications and Outreach Officer, SHRF or 306-975-1693

Kate Dunn, Knowledge Translation Specialist, SCPOR or 306-966-7656

Christine Stobart, Knowledge Translation, Training and Capacity Development Lead, SCPOR or 306-966-8268


2019-20 Sprout Grant Funding Recipients

For more details on these and other funded projects, see our searchable results database or watch for more impact stories on our blog.

Marta Erlandson University of Saskatchewan

Inventing Chronic Disease Management for Children with Congenital Heart Disease

Barbara Fornssler University of Saskatchewan

Perspectives, pathways and priorities of people with lived and living experience of substance use: Informing policies

Sharyle Fowler University of Saskatchewan

Medicinal Cannabis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The experience of patients in Saskatchewan

Thomas Hadjistavropoulos University of Regina

Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Large Scale Social Media Campaign to Mobilize Evidence-Based Knowledge About Pain in Dementia

John Paul Kuwornu Saskatchewan Health Authority

Care pathways analytics: Integrating patient-centered outcomes in economic evaluations of care pathways in Saskatchewan

Stephanie Madill University of Saskatchewan

TRANS: Trans Research and Navigation Saskatchewan - Evaluating the Impact of Peer Navigators on the Health of People who are Trans and Gender Diverse

Megan O'Connell University of Saskatchewan

Rural and Remote Memory Clinic 2.0: An Integrated Approach to Accessible Dementia Care

Michelle Pavloff Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Saskatchewan Agricultural Producer & Family Mental Health Initiative

James Stempien University of Saskatchewan

Improving emergency care among patients who use opioids: Novel integration of patient-oriented mixed methodology and supervised machine learning

Caroline Tait University of Saskatchewan

Donation and Transplantation: Examining Culturally Safe Public Health Education and Health Care Services with Indigenous Peoples

Susan Tupper Saskatchewan Health Authority

Improving pain care through emerging Saskatchewan health networks: a community-based participatory approach

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