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Annual Report 2018

Patients' Den ignites innovation

Patient's Den participants

A first of its kind in Canada, New Brunswick’s finest researchers and trainees pitched patient-centred research project proposals, similar to the popular TV show Dragon’s Den, to a live-streamed Canada-wide audience in May with 75 attendees in person and over 160 online.

This trail-blazing concept was led by Dr. Shelley Doucet, Jarislowsky Chair in Interprofessional Patient-Centred Care at UNB, and hosted by the New Brunswick Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (PIHCI) Network. The teams were vying for three prizes valued at $5,000 each.

There is a widespread shift across Canada to move from patients being passive receptors of healthcare services to being proactive partners by engaging them in health research. Patient engagement helps ensure that studies focus on patient-identified priorities, which helps achieve better healthcare practices and patient outcomes.

Prior to the event, 14 applicants submitted proposals for research projects; a panel of methodology experts reviewed the studies' scientific merits to create a shortlist of 10 proposals. Each team then presented its project to the patient panel, who posed questions to the presenters and evaluated how well each idea would address the network's priorities in primary healthcare prevention, access and, integration, and what impact it would have on the NB healthcare system.

The winning team projects were (1) Dr. Rose McCloskey (UNB) Giving Voice to the Hidden Patient; (2) Dr. Tracey Rickards (UNB/Fredericton Downtown Community Health Centre) PROGRESS: Patient-centered, Upstream Interventions to Improve COPD Care; and (3) Tracy Ferguson (Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation) Investigating the Impact of Adapted Bikes or Trikes on the Quality of Life of Children and Youth with Neuromotor Disabilities.

Established in 2015, the New Brunswick SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) Network in PIHCI is a group of 130 stakeholders, representing diverse groups of organizations and individuals. Their goals include engaging researchers, citizens, clinicians, policy makers, social and medical organizations to facilitate the advancement of evidence-based healthcare in NB and across Canada.

The NB PIHCI Network tripartite leadership team includes scientific co-leads Dr. Doucet and Dr. Rima Azar (Associate Professor, Mount Allison University), clinical co-leads Joan Kingston (UNB’s Downtown Community Health Centre) and UNB alumna and Pediatrician Dr. Sarah Gander, along with policy co-leads Ms. Noortje Kunnen and Dr. Heidi Liston (New Brunswick Department of Health).