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Technology and health care for the elderly medical research studies

Focus on strategic priorities that have significant social impact.

SDG 2013-01

Outcome Priorities in Intensive Care Studies (OPTICS)

Due to the lack of Integrated Knowledge Translation (iKT) research in critical care research, a research program is being created on iKT in critical care. The research question is do patients, families and citizens have different priorities for outcome assessment in critical care research as compared to clinicians, researchers and administrators/decision makers?

Possible Research Results

Anticipated findingsWhen complete, findings of this research program will highlight the similarities and differences between various stakeholders’ preferences for research priorities and outcome assessment priorities in critical care research.

Impact of findingsThis research program is novel in critical care and fulfills the priority of patient and citizen engagement. The findings of this study may change the way critical care research is currently conducted and evaluated, based on outcomes that are also pertinent to patients. Further, it will provide insight into how to engage citizens and patients in research and the decision-making process.

Publications, presentations and webinars

About the Project

Intensive care unit (ICU) admission is associated with high levels of mortality and prolonged morbidity which are worse in the elderly. In some cases, ICU admission may have little possibility of returning the patient to his/her baseline status, leading to therapeutic decisions based on anticipated outcomes and the patient's wishes. A challenge is that many ICU therapies have been studied with mortality as the primary outcome and there is little information on patient-centred outcomes required to help patients and their surrogates make decisions. As a consequence, it is becoming increasingly important that research studies conducted in the ICU are patient-centred and include patient-centred outcomes.

iKT holds great promise in this regard but has been little studied in critically ill patients. iKT is defined as the involvement of stakeholders or potential research knowledge users in the entire research process. The central premise of iKT is that the involvement of knowledge users as equal partners alongside researchers will lead to research that is more relevant, more likely to be useful and more likely to be utilized. Historically, knowledge users have been mostly decision makers. Patient involvement in the research process is much less common. The utility of iKT is unknown for research in acute disease states and specifically, critical care is an environment in which iKT has been little studied and it is unknown if patient, citizen or stakeholder involvement is applicable.

For more details on the project rationale, objectives and research plan, click here.

Project Team

Principal Investigator:

John Muscedere, MD, FRCPC -- Queen's University/Kingston General Hospital


Jill Cameron, PhD, OT -- University of Toronto

Margaret Harrison, PhD, RN -- Queen's University

Margaret Herridge, MD, MSc -- Toronto General Hospital

Daren Heyland, MD, MSc, BSc -- Queen's University

Michelle Kho, PhD, PT -- McMaster University

François Lamontagne, MD, PhD -- Université de Sherbrooke

Tasnim Sinuff, MD, PhD, FRCPC -- Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Project Contact: Dr. John Muscedere --

SDG 2013-01