2020 Recipients

Three projects totaling $287,537 were awarded funding in the 2020 edition of the Rossy Cancer Network’s CQI Research Fund competition:

Surgery - Rectal Cancer

Early ileostomy closure following restorative proctectomy for rectal cancer patients: A North American multicenter randomized-controlled trial (RCT)

Patients undergoing rectal cancer surgery typically need a temporary stoma (“bag”) in order to protect the new connection. While the stoma is meant to prevent consequences of a leak, up to 30% of patients experience complications from the stoma. Patients report that their quality of life is affected negatively while living with a stoma and there is also an associated financial burden. Studies in Europe have shown that some patients can have the stoma safely closed within two weeks of rectal cancer surgery. These patients have fewer complications while they have their stoma and also experience fewer complications following stoma reversal compared to patients who undergo standard of care closure of their stoma. Unfortunately, this practice has not been adopted in North America. We have designed a trial in 7 hospitals in North America to assess early stoma closure and its benefits in North American patients. We will also study its impact on patients’ quality of life and cost.

Marylise Boutros will lead a JGH-MUHC-SMHC team including co-investigators, Carol-Ann Vasilevsky, Allison Pang, Té Vuong, Petr Kavan, Gerald Batist, Vincent Pelsser, Huy Le, Anne Ross, Carmen Loiselle, Sender Liberman, Caroline Reinhold, Neil Kopek, Sebastien Demyttenaere, Fadi Habbab and Natasha Caminisky (trainee) from the RCN network as well as external collaborators, Rebecca Auer from The Ottawa Hospital and Sunil Patel from Kingston Health Science Centre.

Patient Experience - Lung Cancer

The use of Patient Report Outcomes (PROs) to improve integrated care among patients diagnosed with lung cancer and treated across different cancer centres

This study aims to improve the care of lung cancer patients across the trajectory of care by asking them about the symptoms they experience (either due to the cancer itself or its treatments), communicating this information back to clinicians, and facilitating follow-up symptom management care. This might have an impact on how well individuals can manage their treatment and on the quality of their day-to-day lives. Patients may also be treated by different care providers, often across different healthcare settings, and this study will explore how to improve communication among providers. To achieve our aims, we will partner with patients and care providers to design the symptom screening program that will be delivered electronically. Through a series of group meetings, patients, care providers, and researchers will work together to identify the priorities and content of this screening program. We will then test the screening program with a small group of patients with lung cancer to make sure it does in fact meet the priorities of all end users.

Sylvie Lambert and Rosanna Faria will co-lead a SMHC-MUHC team including co-investigators, John Kildea, Tarek Hijal, Myriam Ménard, Benjamin Shieh, Jonathan Spicer and Christine Bouchard and collaborators, Adrian Langleben, Sergio Faria and Scott Owen.

Patient/Family Caregiver Experience - Palliative-Stage Cancer

Developing an mHealth Application to Coordinate Nurse-Provided Respite Care Services For Families Coping with Palliative-Stage Cancer

Cancer is a condition requiring ongoing family caregiving support, particularly during the palliative stage of care. Without adequate support services, family caregivers are at risk for depression and poor health, and loved ones with cancer are at risk for inadequate care. For such families, in-home respite care can be invaluable. Yet, respite care services are under utilized,largely due to the inflexibility of services and families’ lack of trust in providers’ abilities. For families with complex care needs, nurses may be best positioned to provide trusted and flexible respite care. Mobile applications (“apps”) are being used in other industries to make services more flexible. However, no apps have been developed to coordinate nurse-provided respite care services. We aim to develop an app that can optimize the coordination of nurseprovided respite care services for families coping with palliative-stage cancer, thus improving the quality of services rendered to these families.

Argerie Tsimicalis will lead a MUHC-JGH team including co-investigators, Antonia Arnaert, Vasiliki Bitzas, John Kildea and Karyn Moffatt and collaborator, Aimee Castro.

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