Impact stories & initiatives

Impact Story

Putting Patients First: Assessing Quality of Life

In the first part of Dr. Sawatzky’s research project, he and his team developed an online person-centred health information system, called the Quality of Life and Practice Support System (QPSS). This system allows patients and family caregivers to complete quality of life assessment surveys and share their information with healthcare providers.

Impact Story

Advance Care Planning: Impact and Access 

Dr. Tamara Sussman’s CFN funded research into advance care planning focuses on it’s impact and accessibility. Through this research, her team provided their subjects a “workbook”, a pamphlet, really, that encourages and supports older adults in thinking about and understanding their own wishes with regard to how they want their end-of-life care to look, and then expressing those wishes to those closest to them.

Impact Story

Should I stay or should I go? Research helps guide crucial decisions about home versus institutional care

CFN Researcher France Légaré and her team received pivotal funding from CFN that launched them in a new research direction to explore the difficult decisions older adults and their families face about where to locate care – at home with home care support, or in a long-term care facility.  Dr. Légaré’s research aims to help Canadians make the difficult decision to stay at home or move into a care facility.

Impact Story

Initial funding by CFN can lead to larger follow-on application-based research and KT studies

Initial funding from CFN has led to many researchers securing larger follow-on application-based research funding from various federal and provincial funding agencies as well as from private not-for-profit groups. Relatively small amounts of CFN funding has led to a multiplier effect (as high as 19-fold leverage) allowing Network Investigators to continue to move key CFN research projects closer to real-world implementation.

Impact Story

Researchers seek to prevent frailty with strength training

Physiotherapists Ada Tang and Christine Prevett have teamed up and secured funding from CFN to challenge the perception that people become progressively weaker with age. They aim to show not only that older people are perfectly capable of building strength safely, but that they can also prevent themselves from becoming frail—or more frail—in the process.

Impact Story

Cycling through intensive care: Researchers help critically ill older patients get stronger with in-bed bicycling

Dr. Kho wants to help ICU patients maintain as much strength as possible during their stay. Based on a study from Belgium that started in-bed cycling two weeks after a patient was admitted to ICU, she determined that this technology could be just the tool to help patients maintain muscle mass and mobility. Her next step was to find funding.

Initiative

Standardizing Frailty Research: Frailty Outcomes Consensus Project (FOCUS)

In spite of increasing attention on frailty and its importance to care of older adults, high-quality evidence for decision making is often lacking. Using common data elements and common outcome measures across research studies means that findings can be collectively analyzed to better inform patient care. The FOCUS (Frailty Outcomes Consensus) Project aims to set levels of standardization for research studies so that common outcomes are captured in all frailty studies.

Impact Story

Beyond bedrest: maintaining mobility during hospital stays

In their new CFN-funded study, called the Breaking “Bad Rest” Study: Interrupting sedentary time to reverse frailty levels in acute care, Drs. Theou and Rockwood are laying the groundwork for a massive shift in hospital culture to promote mobility over bedrest.

Impact Story

Fighting frailty with food: early screening for malnutrition in hospitals

Dr. Keller has been developing and testing an in-hospital nutrition intervention called More-2-Eat. Funding from the CFN has allowed her to create, validate, implement and measure the impact of a simple assessment tool that frontline hospital staff can use to identify malnourished patients, and an easy and effective way to improve their nutrition status.

Impact Story

Fit for heart surgery? Study helps older adults make decisions with their surgeons

While some advised Sally O’Brien (77) her that coronary artery bypass surgery was too risky given her age and other health problems, Dr. Greg Hirsh determined otherwise. The Halifax cardiac surgeon and his team thoroughly assessed Sally’s fitness for the surgery using sensitive tools for measuring fitness versus frailty developed at Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

Initiative

Learning from the leaders in progressive eldercare: a knowledge exchange with Denmark

In keeping with a mandate to learn from international partnerships, CFN mobilized a group of Canadian healthcare leaders, researchers and clinicians to visit Denmark in May 2018. Their goal was to see first-hand why Denmark is widely recognized as a world leader in providing effective healthcare.

Impact Story

Get fit for surgery: Research aims to prevent post-op complications and disabilities in older people with frailty

Imagine you are 75 or 80 and facing a major surgery. Are you confident in your ability to stay strong and recover quickly from the procedure? Research led by Dr. Daniel McIsaac set out to help older adults living with frailty get stronger before surgery by offering them a well-rounded pre-op exercise program.

Impact Story

CFN pilot funding helps move deprescribing app into multiple provinces

Canadian Frailty Network funded a study by Drs. Todd Lee and Emily McDonald of McGill University Health Centre. The investigators created MedSafer, an electronic application, to identify deprescribing opportunities for older patients (aged 65 and older) when hospitalized.

Impact Story

Patient Navigators support older adults with serious illness through Nav-CARE program

Stemming from a CFN Catalyst Grant in 2014, the Nav-CARE program is being adapted and tailored across diverse social and geographic contexts across Canada with volunteers primarily based within hospice who are connected to primary care services through follow-on funding.