Sex differences in admission to ICU: exploring the role of social support factors

Read more about the project here.

This study will address issues of equity related to access to critical care. The investigators will assess whether the differences in admission to Intensive Care Units for men and women over the age of 65 years are due to differences in social supports (marital status, number of children), and prior personal or family member experience with critical care.
Researchers have found that for certain illnesses patients may be more likely to receive certain kinds of care depending on whether they are men or women. Previous studies by this team have suggested: that men receive more critical care treatments for almost all kinds of conditions; this male predominance of critical care is accentuated in elderly people; and that women are less likely to survive their critical illness, despite being about as sick as men when they are admitted to the hospital or Intensive Care Unit.

A better understanding of the factors that influence health care decisions and outcomes for critically ill older people and differences by gender is needed to develop action plans to ensure equitable delivery of care to these individuals.

Allan Garland, MD, MA, BSc is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Community Health Services at the University of Manitoba. He obtained his BS in Physics at the University of Michigan, his MA in Physics at Harvard, and his MD at the University of Chicago. He interned in Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Manitoba in 2007, Dr. Garland held faculty appointments at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, and Case Western Reserve University. In addition to investigating the source and magnitude of variation in ICU care, his other research interests are also in the field of critical care, including the relationship between structure and outcomes, long-term patient outcomes including quality of life, cost-effectiveness, optimal use of vascular access devices,  and ICU staffing with an emphasis on job stress, burnout and worker retention.

Andrea Hill, PhD is a Research Associate at Sunnybrook Health Sciences. Her research interests relates to the epidemiology and outcomes of critical illness and injuries. Her current work focuses on understanding the determinants of intensive care unit admissions and long-term outcomes among the elderly following critical illness.