Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (Dr. Tara Packham, McMaster University)
The School of Rehabilitation Sciences (SRS) and School of Nursing at McMaster University offer a joint course in ‘Knowledge Transfer and Exchange’. All PhD students in the SRS are required to take this course because it teaches them how to effectively share their research to a) help move knowledge into health care practice and service delivery, b) to share the results to the general public, and c) to help both health care providers and health service users to change their behaviours based on best evidence. One of the areas covered in the course is the use of plain language. To apply this new learning, students must take an article published in the scientific literature and write a plain language summary. These summaries are also known as lay abstracts.
To make this required activity more meaningful, for the past several years students have partnered with a patient organization to select articles and write lay abstracts on topics of interest to that organization. These summaries are then shared back to the organization to use for newsletters or websites as a way of sharing recent research. This year, the class partnered with CAPA to select articles that were 1) published very recently, and 2) where the full paper was also freely available to the public (open access) should people want to read more. CAPA partners helped to select papers on two topics: arthritis or COVID-19. Please note these papers were not evaluated for study quality. Students then created lay abstracts, and got initial feedback from the course instructor. CAPA partners Therese Lane and Janet Gunderson also reviewed the abstracts and gave more pointers from their lived experience. The revised summaries have been shared back with CAPA members: each one contains a link to the full article. Happy reading!
Studying the Immune and Genetic Mechanisms of JIA and RA (Dr. Daniela Ardelan, Western University Bone & Joint Institute)
A group of clinician researchers and scientists from the Western University Bone & Joint Institute, Dr. Daniela Ardelean (PI), Dr. Cheryle Seguin and Dr. Janet Pope (Co-PI) have enrolled the first patients with arthritis into an innovative research project that aims to re-create inflamed joints and tissues from children and adults with inflammatory arthritis. They will generate self-renewing cells called induced pluripotent stem cells from those affected and then guide these cells into becoming inflamed tissues. By modeling juvenile idiopathic and rheumatoid arthritis in laboratory, the team from London, Ontario will be able to better understand the causes of arthritis and screen new individualized therapies for those affected. This multidisciplinary research endeavor is supported by the Western University Bone and Joint Institute, Children’s Health Research Institute, Department of Pediatrics and the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario.
Chronic Pain & Physical Activity (University of Saskatchewan )
People living with pain struggle to meet the public health recommendation of 150+ minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (PA), and often report pain as a barrier. The goal of the research team from the University of Saskatchewan was to gain a better understanding of pain-related psychological beliefs that might help people living with chronic pain participate in regular PA. They found that pain itself may not be what’s most important to understand to help people be more active. Rather, how people psychologically respond to their pain (e.g., being psychologically flexible, having higher confidence to overcome pain barriers) appears to be very important. These findings are the first of their kind. If the findings are found to be the same in future research, then programs can be developed to help adults with chronic pain be more active.