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Research Projects

ONCO PERSONA APP STUDY


"Being known" by the health care team can significantly improve a patient's health care experience, health behavior, and health-related outcomes. “Being known” refers to patients’ perceptions that there is a human connection with healthcare providers that includes personalization of care according to patients’ health status, unique needs, beliefs and values. As of now, no clear strategies to improve patients' feelings of "being known" have been proposed. Health information technologies are promising to address this gap. Our research team has recently collaborated with IT experts to design an e-health application that serves to provide crucial patients’ information including their current health worries, and preferences for information and decision making so that health care providers can optimally tailor their interventions to patients' needs. The study will test the newly developed App and explore the extent to which it enhances the patient experience while optimizing patients-health care providers' interactions.

For more information about this study, please contact:
Jacqueline Vachon, M.Sc.
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

"THE POWER OF ME, THE POWER OF WE" DOCUMENTARY


Paradoxically, the experience of young adults living with advanced cancer can be both very challenging and a catalyst for personal growth. The complexity of their experience is due, in part, to their unique physical, psychological, developmental, and social needs. To this end, Carmen Loiselle and Hope & Cope (Suzanne O’Brien) embarked on an innovative documentary film project to document their experience. The team wishes to take this documentary to various media sources, to raise awareness of young adults’ unique experiences with advanced cancer and the health care system, as well as fundraise to support young adults with cancer services provided through Hope & Cope.

Full documentary (in English): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RrZrLeKrRk&t=38s

English press release: https://www.mcgill.ca/nursing/article/empowerment-coping-and-closure-worldcancerday2019-legacy-project-documentary-shares-perspectives

For more information about this documentary, please contact:
Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

Sponsors

LOISELLELAB RESEARCH CONTACT LIST

This project, funded by the Christine and Herschel Victor/Hope & Cope Psychosocial Oncology Research Chair, aims at creating a contact list for individuals who are interested in being notified of future LoiselleLab studies. With 87.5% of participants in previous studies expressing their interest to be contacted about new cancer-related studies, this electronic research contact list database is an ideal system to improve participant recruitment efficiency and communication.

For more information about this study, please contact:
Jacqueline Vachon, MSc
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

ON-BOARD PROJECT

Oncology—Bolstering Oral Agent Reporting related to Distress (ON-BOARD) is a pilot randomized-controlled trial that aims to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of a multi-modal intervention on treatment adherence in individuals diagnosed with cancer starting oral chemotherapy treatment.

For more information about this study, please contact:
Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle or Saima Ahmed, Doctoral Candidate
[email protected]
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

Sponsors

COPING TOGETHER

Adaptation of Coping Together, self-directed coping skills training manuals for patients and caregivers in the context of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCTs) have been inpatient procedures due to intensive treatment regimens and a complex recovery process.  However, feasibility, cost containment, and patients’ needs and quality of life issues have mandated a shift to outpatient settings.  This shift means more intensive involvement of caregivers (CGs).  With an increasing number and complexity of role demands, CGs are challenged to perform this role while balancing work and family demands with little or no preparation and support.  CGs, therefore, are prone to illness-related distress, unmet needs and coping difficulties that often exceed that of patients.  Existing HSCT literature indicates the need for supportive interventions to enable them to continue providing care.  Such interventions should involve dyads, namely a combination of patients and their designated CGs; be tailored; enhance adaptive coping while flexible in content, timing and format; and take place during the early recovery phases.  Recently, self-directed interventions for adaptive coping, well-being and stress management are found to facilitate coping for cancer patients and CGs alike. 

Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Map of Adaptation Process, this multi-step, qualitative descriptive study will adapt the evidence-informed, self-directed Coping Together (CT) manuals to be acceptable in content, process and structure to hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) patients, caregivers (CGs) and dyads during the first 100 days post-HSCT at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York city.  This study poses three research questions: (a) What are the perceptions of HSCT patients, CGs, dyads and clinicians about the content, process and structure of the CT manuals?; (b) What adaptations need to be made of the CT manuals to make it more acceptable for HSCT patients, CGs and dyads?; and (c) What are the perceptions/experiences of HSCT patients, CGs, and dyads with HSCT-modified CT manuals during the first100 days post-HSCT? 

CANCER CARE TEAM FUNCTIONING AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH PATIENTS' EXPERIENCES WITH CANCER CARE

As patient care in oncology becomes more complex, challenges of working effectively in teams are considerable. In this project, we aim to examine stakeholders’ perceptions of cancer team functioning and document relationships with care satisfaction and self-reported health outcomes. 

For more information about this study, please contact:
Dr. Carmen Loiselle or Samar Attieh, Doctoral candidate
[email protected]
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

DIALOGUE MCGILL

Health Canada is dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians and their access to safe and effective health and social services. In 2003, Health Canada launched the Official Languages Health Program with an action plan with a particular focus on the training and retention of health and social service professionals. This program also seeks to ensure that these professionals have the necessary preparation to support official language minority communities. In 2004, McGill University received a grant for this Health Canada initiative and Dialogue McGill was launched. 

In April 2020, Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle became the Director and Principal Investigator of Dialogue McGill: https://www.mcgill.ca/dialoguemcgill/

For more information about this project, please contact:
Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle, Director and Principal Investigator 
Jacqueline Vachon, Associate Director
Email: [email protected]
Sponsor: Health Canada

Sponsors

INDIVIDUALS' EXPERIENCE WITH REMOTE COMMUNITY-BASED CANCER SUPPORTIVE INITIATIVES

Individuals with cancer and their informal caregivers are at higher risk of psychosocial distress related to their experience with cancer. Hope & Cope’s Wellness Centre (affiliated with the Jewish General Hospital/CIUSSS Centre-Ouest) provides support programs and activities for individuals affected by cancer (i.e., former patients, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, and informal caregivers). Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Hope & Cope transitioned from face-to-face services to virtual formats. The proposed descriptive mixed-method pilot study aims to assess users’ satisfaction with these new virtual services. The second goal is to explore, in more depth, users’ perceived advantages and challenges associated with the uptake of these services. 

For more information about this study, please contact: 
Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle or Dr. Tyler Brown
[email protected]
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

Sponsors

COVID-19 AND CANCER REMOTE STUDY


The COVID-Cancer remote support program is currently being offered at the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General Hospital for dually diagnosed COVID-Cancer patients. This pilot study seeks to document the physical and psychosocial needs of oncology patients newly diagnosed with COVID-19, and the extent to which providing support (remotely, through digital, interactive, and online interventions) addresses participants’ needs while reducing distress. Patient satisfaction with these services is also measured. Ultimately, assessing these parameters in the context of a dual cancer-COVID-19 diagnosis will serve to further inform and enhance quality of care and outcomes for this group.

For more information about this study, please contact:
Dr. Carmen Loiselle or Jacqueline Vachon, MSc
[email protected]
[email protected]
(514) 398-8977

Sponsors

IMPACT OF A PATIENT-CENTERED PROGRAM AND AN ONLINE INFORMATIONAL AND PEER SUPPORT APPLICATION FOR PATIENTS WITH LOW ANTERIOR RESECTION SYNDROME (TWO MULTICENTER RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIALS)

Dr. Carmen G. Loiselle and Dr. Marylise Boutros joined forces to collaborate on colorectal cancer research projects to improve patients’ quality of life. These studies are the first randomised controlled trials to evaluate a supportive intervention for patients with low anterior resection syndrome (LARS). In preparation for the trials, we formed a multi-institutional LARS working group, consisting of colorectal surgeons, rectal cancer nurses, pelvic physiotherapists, and patients to develop a novel LARS patient-centered support program, which consists of a LARS educational booklet, using original illustrations to highlight the relevant anatomy, risk factors, and management strategies for LARS, and specialized nurse support. The educational content of the booklet was used to create an online App platform, with the added feature of a peer support forum, where trained peer support mentors, who have experience living with LARS, provide peer support for LARS among rectal cancer survivors. The impact of these supportive interventions on rectal cancer survivors’ patient-reported outcomes are currently being studied in two separate RCTs.  

For more information about these studies, please contact:
Marie Demian
Research Associate
[email protected]
(514) 340-8222 ext. 22988

Sponsors


Past Projects (past five years)

BREAST & BONE HEALTH PROJECT


Some women with breast cancer are at higher risk for osteoporosis, bone fragility, and fracture due to the nature of their cancer treatment. Hope & Cope and the Segal Cancer Centre spearheaded a program dedicated to promoting bone health in breast cancer. This initiative was possible thanks to a grant (2014-2018) from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation (rubanrose.org). The program was a team effort with the co-leadership of a nurse and a physiotherapist working together to identify, screen, and support women through research-informed activities. Principal investigator, Dr. Loiselle and her team (Lapointe, J., Dalzell, M. A., O'Brien, S., Lau, G.J. & Ibrahim, M.) documented how awareness raising, education, exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications can be integrated into current breast cancer treatment practices. The culmination of these efforts was a cost-effective comprehensive bone health toolkit that can be easily transferred to other clinical settings in Quebec.

For more information about this program: www.breastandbonehealth.ca

Sponsors

SUSTAINABLE DISTRESS SCREENING IMPLEMENTATION STUDY

Addressing the unmet needs of individual with cancer is an imperative for truly comprehensive person-centered care but significant barriers still exist. Increasingly, interactive health communication is used to increase access to timely support. In addition, the involvement of trained volunteers in supportive modalities (in-person and remotely) is quickly gaining popularity. This pilot study aimed to begin to test a sustainable and blended cancer supportive approach that included informational e-handouts and volunteers phone calls, document participants’ preferences for type of support, assess changes in distress pre and post services, and document the usability of this blended approach. Preliminary findings suggest that this blended supportive approach may be promising and complementary to usual care. A randomized controlled trial is currently underway to test this new program (please see ON-BOARD Study description for details).

Sponsors

PERSPECTIVE STUDY

Dr. Loiselle’s research lab joined Dr. Jacques Simard’s research team at l’Université Laval to take part in an international multisite study funded by Génome Québec that sought to improve prevention and screening for individual risk factors for breast cancer. As part of the PERSPECTIVE project (PErsonalised Risk Stratification for Prevention and Early deteCtion of breast cancer), Dr. Loiselle and the larger team evaluated a newly created website for women in the community to evaluate their perceptions and acceptability of genetic and lifestyle risk factors information related to preventing, screening and monitoring breast cancer risk.

Sponsors

PREVENTION PLATFORM

Building on the PERSPECTIVE study, this study was funded by the Ministère de l'Économie, de la Science et de l'Innovation and focused on supporting women with e-health tools to use during the breast cancer genetic testing and follow-up process. In collaboration with Dr. Jacques Simard and international colleagues, Dr. Loiselle’s research lab developed and tested an interactive platform that allows women to follow-up screening recommendations, information, appointment tracking, and additional person-centered services. The quality of the platform was highly rated, and participants were mostly interested in content pertaining to understanding breast cancer risk, breast cancer screening and follow-up and how their lifestyle affects their risk.

Sponsors

HEALTH-RELATED EMPOWERMENT IN YOUNG ADULTS LIVING WITH ADVANCED CANCER: A QUALITATIVE STUDY

The goal of this exploratory study was to better understand how young adults living with advanced cancer strive to maintain a sense of control in the context of an uncertain future. In addition, barriers and facilitators to empowerment were investigated in the context of their cancer care. The study findings served to inform subsequent empowerment promoting strategies and interventions to best support this group of young individuals living with a precarious cancer diagnosis.

Sponsors

BELONG: BEATING CANCER TOGETHER


This study began to test a new online health community application called BELONG - designed as a platform to improve the overall patient experience with cancer and care. More specifically, BELONG assists individuals with cancer to meet their information and support needs, promote communication and shared treatment decision-making, track their own cancer journey and guide them to navigate the complexities of the healthcare system. The application is available for use on mobile devices and tablets, such as smart phones and iPads. This pilot particularly focused on the experience of women with gynecological cancer and the views of the multidisciplinary team. 80 to 84% of patients agreed or strongly agreed that BELONG helped them feel less alone and better prepared for medical consultations. Findings underscored the importance of early involvement of multiple stakeholders and more explicit integration of machine learning principles to optimize relevance, clinical implementation and up take.

Study poster:
https://belong.life/implementation-of-a-person-centered-e-health-platform/ 
News broadcast: "Israeli startup fights against cancer"
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/230331

Sponsors

BEING KNOWN QUALITATIVE STUDY

Past research has focused on physician-patient communication related to delivering diagnoses, developing treatment plans, and discussing patients’ experiences with cancer. Less attention has been devoted to better understanding the nurse-patient relationship and how this may relate to the patient’s experience of 'being known" in health care. A better understanding of the patient’s perspective of "being known" will provide information on the added relevance of nurse-patient and nurse-nurse communication in cancer care settings. The overall goal of this study was to provide an in-depth exploration of cancer patients' experience of “being known” in an ambulatory cancer care setting where nursing rounds have been implemented.

PSYCHOSOCIAL ONCOLOGY RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM (PORT)


Dr. Loiselle was also the national Leader of a Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research called PORT (Psychosocial Oncology Research Training) - a 12-year CIHR-funded transdisciplinary training program for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from a variety of disciplines pursuing research in cancer survivorship at six renowned Canadian universities.

TEN-C A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL


The internet is widely accessible and can be a very powerful tool for patients and their loved ones. In previous years, Dr. Loiselle and a team of researchers (Lauzier, S., Maunsell, E., Vuong, T., Lee, V., & Duschene, T.) conducted a large randomized controlled trial to study the effects of the Oncology Interactive NavigatorTM, a high quality Canadian web-based cancer resource (JackDigital.com). Now that data collection is completed, the team has been analyzing how this online tool affects patient’s experiences with cancer.

Sponsors

PATIENTS' PREFERENCES IN CANCER CARE AND THE PATIENT EXPERIENCE SURVEY

The Rossy Cancer Network has implemented an Ambulatory Outpatient Satisfaction Survey (AOPSS) program for cancer patients across three McGill-affiliated hospitals: McGill University Health Centre, Jewish General Hospital, and St. Mary’s Hospital Center. Dr. Loiselle has had the opportunity to add questions related to her program of research on patients’ preferences for cancer information and services. Following the administration of over 4,000 patient experience surveys by the RCN, Dr. Loiselle conducted data analysis on the assessment of patient satisfaction in relation to patient information preferences (Loiselle, 2019). Another published manuscript examined how patients exposed to a nurse pivot differentially perceived their cancer care experiences (Loiselle C.G., Attieh S., et al., 2019).

Sponsors

TREATMENT DECISION MAKING AMONG OLDER PEOPLE WITH COLORECTAL CANCER

For older adults, variation in health, functional, and social status; increasing tension between quality and quantity of life; and lack of research present important challenges in cancer treatment decision making. Recent evidence supports patient engagement in treatment decision making; however, little is known about these evolving processes from the perspective of OAs.  In this longitudinal qualitative study, men and women aged 70 years and older, who had received a colorectal cancer diagnosis, were interviewed, and followed through their treatment trajectory.  Insights gained from this in-depth inquiry suggest the need to re-examine existing models of treatment decision making. Findings also highlight the need for interventions that support trust relationships and enable older people with colorectal cancer to align themselves with the healthcare system (Strohschein F.J., 2020).

Sponsors

PATIENT-INFORMAL-CAREGIVER STUDY

The patient-informal-caregiver study aimed to better understand patient-caregiver dynamics in the context of cancer treatment when the informal caregiver works in the healthcare field. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used to explore the experience of informal caregivers with interviews to allow participants to report on their personal experiences. Results contributes to our understanding of the experiences of healthcare professionals in their informal caregiver roles. If corroborated, findings should inform the development of supportive interventions for the unique dual role of being a healthcare provider caring for a relative with cancer. (Loiselle, C. G., Korner, A., & Santerre-Theil, A. Cancer caregiving dynamics when the caregiver is also a health care professional: An exploratory study. Manuscript submitted to Current Oncology. 2020)


Publications

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