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New Research Connections Results

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

Research Connections grants support short-term, targeted, human health research knowledge mobilization (KMb) initiatives taking place in, and having a practical application for, Saskatchewan knowledge users. These grants help facilitate the sharing of health research knowledge in non-academic mediums or settings.

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation is providing support for 7 projects for a total investment of just over $39,100.

Full details, including team members, project summaries, etc., will be listed in our searchable database at

Funding Recipients

Paulette Hunter | St. Thomas More College | $7,500

A national consultation on improving family-centred care in long-term care

Despite decades of pressure for more person-centred models of care in long-term care (LTC), the Canadian public continues to lack trust in the LTC system. This trust was further undermined by relational strain during the COVID-19 pandemic, as LTC residents and their families experienced prolonged and heavily restricted contact. The pandemic has underscored the necessity of a family-centred approach to care as an approach with potential to address and correct the relational ruptures that took place during the pandemics. A family-centred approach is also a hallmark of a palliative approach to care. This palliative care workshop co-facilitated by the SPA-LTC, SK LTC Network, and BetterLTC teams, and their collaborators, provides an ideal venue for engagement and consultation (inclusive of family partners, students, clinicians, and researchers) to improve family-centred care in LTC. This workshop will also provide valuable strategies for strengthening family-centered care in LTC, which can be shared widely within attendees’ own networks. This is a unique opportunity to access a national audience of expert consultants to contribute to ongoing research to support Saskatchewan’s LTC sector.

Heather Nelson | Saskatchewan Polytechnic | $7,500

Life at 100- A documentary of the life and hopes of centenarians in Saskatchewan

Getting older is often viewed as a negative. North American culture values youth and beauty and views aging as a time of loss. Many myths about aging exist including disease processes that are wrongly believed to be part of the normal aging process such as, dementia, cognitive decline, depression, loneliness, and dependence. While science has refuted these myths they still persist in mainstream media and in public discourse. The proposed project will create a 45-minute documentary to examine the lives of centenarians including the joys and hopes of very elderly people. The documentary will feature 6 to 8 centenarians from diverse backgrounds. They will be interviewed with a friend or family member. We aim to create a documentary that is both entertaining and informative. We will highlight the interesting lives of centenarians and debunk the myths about aging. It is important to change the negative discourse on aging and to support the very elderly in our society. We need to increase positive messaging about older adults to diminish the effects of ageism and to position older adults as the active and engaged members of society that they are. The documentary will be shared widely to the public and will also be used to provide information to support assisted living facilities to optimize care for the very elderly.

Sarah Donkers | University of Saskatchewan | $7,500

Supporting Saskatchewan health care providers with the clinical application of evidence-based stroke rehabilitation recommendations

Saskatoon City Hospital receives the largest volume of stroke admissions in Saskatchewan. With the rising rate of stroke and an overall aging population, there is increased demand for specialized services. Saskatoon City Hospital has recently expanded its Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialized Services department to better meet this increasing demand. The overall goal of this knowledge mobilization project is to support the clinical uptake of evidence-based practice recommendations for stroke rehabilitation in our local Saskatchewan context. Using an iterative approach, our team will develop, refine, and launch a training program tailored to support health care providers with the application of this knowledge into current practice. The training will initially target rehabilitation professionals working in outpatient stroke rehabilitation at Saskatoon City Hospital. It will help support the recently hired staff through the Rehabilitation Outpatient Specialized Services expansion project. It will also serve to start discussions on co-developing a strategy for integrating such training into the on-boarding of future hires. The training content and structure will be evaluated, and the lessons learned as well as material produced will serve as a template for spreading training to rehabilitation providers outside of Saskatoon and across the Stroke continuum of care (e.g. acute and in-patient stroke services).

Khrisha Alphonsus | University of Saskatchewan | $4,279

Spreading awareness on prescription drug misuse among older adults in Saskatchewan

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction state that one in four older adults have reported having used psychoactive medications. Lifestyle changes, such as early retirement and change in health status, are some of the reasons behind mental health problems. Prescriptions drugs such as pain relievers, stimulants and sedatives are used excessively among older adults. Older adults compared to younger individuals tend to experience long term health problems and take multiple prescription drugs, which may increase complications. Based on the Canadian Institute for Health Information data of 2017, individuals who were aged 45 years and older had the highest rate of hospitalization due to opioid poisoning. Various studies have emphasized the need to have better programs for older adults with prescription drug misuse. Most of the research around addiction and mental health are concentrated on younger individuals as opposed to older adults and this failure to address the problems that older individuals are facing leads to more burden and impact on the health care system. There is a lack of awareness surrounding this problem and up to now, there haven't been any studies that were carried out in Saskatchewan among the older age group. As a knowledge mobilization approach we will share the findings from our cross sectional survey that was carried out in Saskatchewan through creation of an infographic.

Amrinderbir Singh | University of Saskatchewan | $4,000

Engaging primary health care providers in early childhood caries prevention - a collaborative approach using the Canadian Caries Risk Assessment Tool

Early childhood caries (ECC) is the most common chronic disease of childhood and affects low-income population groups disproportionately. In Saskatchewan, nearly 1 out of 3 children entering Grade 1 have experienced caries, and more children require dental treatment under general anesthesia than in any other province. A new approach to prevention is required. It is well documented that early dental visits aimed at risk assessment and prevention can be effective at improving oral health related outcomes and cost. Children who visit the dentist by their first birthday often have fewer treatment needs when compared to those children who only start seeing a dentist once they enter school. While both the Canadian Dental Association and Canadian Paediatric Society recommend that children should have their first dental visit by the age of one, most children are not seen until the age of three. One strategy that has shown success is to partner with physicians and nurses to introduce caries risk assessment and preventive therapy into routine well-child visits starting at age one. In 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada developed a new Canadian Caries Risk Assessment Tool (CCRAT) which will allow primary health care providers or oral health providers in non-traditional clinical settings to assess the risk of—and take defined initial action on—dental caries in children under the age of six. Partnering with Saskatoon Community Clinic (Westside Clinic), this project aims to engage, educate, and train the primary health care practitioners on how to implement CCRAT into clinical practice.

Michelle Siqueira | University of Saskatchewan | $2,000

Infection Control Quality Assurance in Dental Practices

Dental practices in Saskatchewan must follow strict infection control protocols to ensure patient and staff safety before and after every dental procedure. Proper sterilization of instruments utilized during dental treatment is necessary to minimize the risk of patient cross contamination, and proper maintenance of dental chair waterlines ensures there is no accumulation of biofilm in the waterlines of the dental chair that can compromise the quality of the water entering patient’s mouths. In-house infection control protocols alone are extremely important. However, as an added layer of protection, quality assurance tests carried out externally in microbiology labs are also necessary to monitor the efficiency of sterilizers and the quality of water used during dental treatment. This pioneer knowledge translational activity aims to educate dentists and dental clinic staff on the most up-to-date infection control protocols related to sterilization and dental chair waterline maintenance. Dentists and their staff will also learn how to quickly react in case of failing results on external monitoring tests. With cross contamination and poor water quality having the risk of transmitting infectious disease for patients, this initiative is important for protecting the health of every patient receiving dental care.

Oluwasegun Hassan | Saskatchewan Health Authority | $6,349

Promoting Community-Driven Physical Activity among African Immigrant Community: A Knowledge Sharing Plan

The academic research to be shared was aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of perspectives of African immigrant families and assessing the impact of sociocultural environment on physical activity engagement among their adolescent children aged 10 to 17 years. The findings derived from the study showed that African immigrant children and their families faced several societal challenges with physical activity participation including neighbourhood safety concerns, racial discrimination, and competing priorities for parents. To facilitate the sharing of knowledge, the project lead will collaborate with health promotion professionals to create tools and resources for the delivery of educational sessions among African immigrant children and families. The researcher will further collaborate with immigrant service providers to conduct two-day knowledge sharing events within Saskatchewan. Taking a strength-based, these events will focus on community building activities such as presentations on equitable integration, active living workshop, and active breakout sessions delivered by fitness specialists. This we hope will educate on the cultural-based values of movement, improve awareness and provide physical activity resources, and promote overall well-being. Overall, this knowledge sharing activity will promote active living engagement for African immigrant families, foster social inclusion, and aid in reducing the risk of diseases among African immigrant community and Saskatchewan population at large.


About SHRF - Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (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.

For more information, please contact:

Chelsea Cunningham, SHRF Programs and Engagement Manager

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