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Areas of Focus

Health and Care Experiences

We are focused on the health and care experiences of all involved in the delivery and receipt of services and supports including patients, families and health care providers and how the health and social care system can improve these experiences through person-and family-centred practices. The following are some of the specific topic areas we are actively exploring in this field:

  • Person- and family-centred care (planning and delivery)
  • Information, relational and management continuity of care
  • Patient, caregiver and health care provider safety
  • Integrated/interdisciplinary team practices/roles
  • Culturally appropriate/respectful care
  • Sustainable relationship-building
  • Authentic patient engagement practices
  • Adaptive technologies
  • Patient-reported experience/ outcomes
  • Family caregiver assessment

Why Health and Care Experiences?

Most qualitative health services research focuses on the patient and/or family/friend caregiver experience of health and social care services. Often, health care providers are consulted in this research, but usually from a clinical experience perspective. While it is important to understand patient, family/friend caregiver and health care provider perspectives related specifically to their role in delivering and/or receiving services, we see the need to look beyond these roles in order to understand the broader human experience of delivering and receiving care. By exploring the health and care experiences of all involved in the delivery and receipt of services we are finding solutions for how the health and social care system can be more uniformly person-and family-centred no matter what role one plays.

How did we get here?

Our journey of research in person- and family-centred care has been foundational to the priority research field of Health and Care Experiences.

While, person- and family-centred care is becoming a standard in health care delivery, health systems are still very much organized around clinical needs and perspectives. In 2010, we received funding from Health Canada to conduct a literature review to understand how to implement PFCC in home and community settings. With additional funding from Health Canada and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, we then developed and piloted person- and family-centred care educational workshops for leaders, providers, and support staff in home care and long term care.

In 2015, we took our exploration of the delivery of person- and family-centred care to the next level. Through expert interviews and exploring research evidence, we developed a theory to understand both the unique and shared experiences and roles of nurses, occupational therapists and physiotherapists delivering person- and family-centred care in a team context.

In 2016, in collaboration with SE Education Services , we launched a variety of resources and education and consulting services to make knowledge available across the country through the SE Person- and Family-Centred Care Institute. For example, we partnered with Accreditation Canada to provide a series of workshops for healthcare leaders across Canada, and developed a user-friendly needs assessment survey so organizations can tell what they need to work on most.

What are we currently working on?

Reflecting on Sustainable Relationships Building for Cancer Storywork in First Nations, Inuit and Metis Communities

As part of a national project that explored the cancer journeys of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, we are exploring sustainable relationship-building within communities and among the project team. We want to understand what the key elements are for sustainable relationship- building in a multidisciplinary and multi-jurisdictional context when working with First Nations Inuit and Metis communities on research to improve health and care. Preliminary findings indicate that having a common goal is the key element to foster sustainable relationship-building. The full results of this study are expected to be available here in May 2018.

Slip-resistant footwear material development to encourage safe outdoor winter activity for frail older adults

Personal Support Worker safety during the winter months is high priority, as they travel to individual homes to provide care. We are working with Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and University Health Network to test innovative winter footwear on snow and icy days compared to usual footwear. Preliminary results indicate less slips and falls for Personal Support Workers wearing the slip resistant footwear compared to Personal Support Workers wearing usual footwear. The full results of this study are expected to be available here in April 2018.

Optimizing home and community partnerships to improve information, relational and management continuity for seniors receiving home and community-based care

To remain living in their communities, many older adults receive care from several organizations, each providing a specific aspect of the care required. Often these services span the home care and community support sectors. We are exploring the patient experience of transitions between home care and community support services to in order to improve information sharing and continuity of care for older adults and their family caregivers. New shared processes for care transitions will be developed and tools required to support these transitions will be adapted or created as necessary. A more detailed summary of this project can be found here. Preliminary results are expected to be available here in October 2018.