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1.  Improved outcomes for elderly patients who received care on a transitional care unit 
Canadian Family Physician  2014;60(5):e263-e271.
To determine whether providing elderly alternate level of care (ALC) patients with interdisciplinary care on a transitional care unit (TCU) achieves better clinical outcomes and lowers costs compared with providing them with standard hospital care.
Before-and-after structured retrospective chart audit.
St Joseph’s Hospital in Comox, BC.
One hundred thirty-five consecutively admitted patients aged 70 years and older with ALC designation during 5-month periods before (n = 49) and after (n = 86) the opening of an on-site TCU.
Main outcome measures
Length of stay, discharge disposition, complications of the acute and ALC portions of the patients’ hospital stays, activities of daily living (mobility, transfers, and urinary continence), psychotropic medications and vitamin D prescriptions, and ALC patient care costs, as well as annual hospital savings, were examined.
Among the 86 ALC patients receiving care during the postintervention period, 57 (66%) were admitted to the TCU; 29 of the 86 (34%) patients in the postintervention group received standard care (SC). All 86 ALC patients in the postintervention group were compared with the 49 preintervention ALC patients who received SC. Length of stay reduction occurred among the postintervention group during the acute portion of the hospital stay (14.0 days postintervention group vs 22.5 days preintervention group; P < .01). Discharge home or to an assisted-living facility increased among the postintervention group (30% postintervention group vs 12% preintervention group; P < .01). Patients’ ability to transfer improved among the postintervention group (55% postintervention group vs 14% preintervention group; P < .01). At discharge, 48% of ALC patients in the postintervention group were able to transfer independently compared with 17% of ALC patients in the preintervention group. Hospital-acquired infections among the postintervention group decreased during the acute phase (14% postintervention group vs 33% preintervention group; P < .01) and in the ALC phase of hospital stay (16% postintervention group vs 31% preintervention group; P = .011). Antipsychotic prescriptions decreased among the postintervention group (45% postintervention group vs 66% preintervention group; P = .026). Despite greater use of rehabilitation services, TCU costs per patient were lower ($155/d postintervention period vs $273/d preintervention period).
Elderly ALC patients experienced improvements in health and function at reduced cost after the creation of an interdisciplinary TCU, to which most of the nonpalliative ALC patients were transferred. Although all the postintervention ALC patients (those admitted to the TCU and those who received SC) were analyzed together, it is very likely that the greatest gains were made in the ALC patients who received care in the TCU.
PMCID: PMC4020664  PMID: 24829021
2.  Fostering shared decision making by occupational therapists and workers involved in accidents resulting in persistent musculoskeletal disorders: A study protocol 
From many empirical and theoretical points of view, the implementation of shared decision making (SDM) in work rehabilitation for pain due to a musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) is justified but typically the SDM model applies to a one on one encounter between a healthcare provider and a patient and not to an interdisciplinary team.
To adapt and implement an SDM program adapted to the realities of work rehabilitation for pain associated with a MSD. More specific objectives are to adapt an SDM program applicable to existing rehabilitation programs, and to evaluate the extent of implementation of the SDM program in four rehabilitation centres.
For objective one, we will use a mixed perspective combining a theory-based development program/intervention and a user-based perspective. The users are the occupational therapists (OTs) and clinical coordinators. The strategies for developing an SDM program will include consulting the scientific literature and group consensus with clinicians-experts. A sample of convenience of eight OTs, four clinical coordinators and four psychologists all of whom have been working full-time in MSD rehabilitation for more than two years will be recruited from four collaborating rehabilitation centres. For objective two, using the same criteria as for objective one, we will first train eight OTs in SDM. Second, using a descriptive design, the extent to which the SDM program has been implemented will be assessed through observations of the SDM process. The observation data will be triangulated with the dyadic working alliance questionnaire, and findings from a final individual interview with each OT. A total of five patients per trained OT will be recruited, for a total of 40 patients. Patients will be eligible if they have a work-related disability for more than 12 weeks due to musculoskeletal pain and plan to start their work rehabilitation programs.
This study will be the first evaluation of the program and it is expected that improvements will be made prior to a broader-scale implementation. The ultimate aim is to improve the quality of decision making, patients' quality of life, and reduce the duration of their work-related disability by improving the services offered during the rehabilitation process.
PMCID: PMC3068973  PMID: 21414207
3.  Factors that influence engagement in collaborative practice 
Canadian Family Physician  2007;53(8):1318-1325.
To generate hypotheses regarding factors that might influence engagement in collaborative practice.
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews.
Participants interviewed each other in dyads. The pairing was based upon geographical location and proximity to each other.
Eight professionals from the disciplines of medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and massage therapy.
Semistructured interviews, lasting 30 to 45 minutes each, were recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were read by all research team members using independent content analysis for common words, phrases, statements, or units of text for key themes. At a subsequent face-to-face meeting, the team used an iterative process of comparing and contrasting key themes until consensus was reached. The transcripts were then analyzed further for subthemes using NVivo software.
Initial findings suggest that some common characteristics grounded in family history, school experiences, social interactions, and professional training might influence collaborative practice choices. The narrative form of the interview broke down interpersonal and interprofessional barriers, creating a new level of trust and respect that could improve professional collaboration.
This study suggests that life experiences from childhood into later adulthood can and do influence professional choices.
PMCID: PMC1949257  PMID: 17872847
4.  A meeting of minds: interdisciplinary research in the health sciences in Canada 
Brought together by the newly formed Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (CAHS), recognized national leaders in the 6 health sciences disciplines consider the environment for conducting interdisciplinary health research (IDHR) in Canada. Based on first-hand knowledge and thoughtful reflection, the authors argue that although much progress has been made in support of IDHR in Canada, the practical experience of researchers does not always bear this out. This article examines government, industry and academia to identify the cultural and structural characteristics that demand, promote or prevent IDHR in each sector. At its heart is the question, How can universities best support and enhance IDHR, not only for the benefit of science, but also to meet the growing needs of industry and government for intellectual capital?
Focusing on the predominant health sciences disciplines, the authors define IDHR as a team of researchers, solidly grounded in their respective disciplines, who come together around an important and challenging health issue, the research question for which is determined by a shared understanding in an interactive and iterative process. In addition, they suggest that IDHR is directly linked to translational research, which is the application of basic science to clinical practice and the generation of scientific questions through clinical observation.
This analysis of academic, industry and government sectors is not intended to offer rigorous data on the current state of IDHR in Canada. Rather, the goal is to stimulate research-policy dialogue by suggesting a number of immediate measures that can help promote IDHR in Canada.
Recommended measures to support IDHR are aimed at better resourcing and recognition (by universities and granting agencies), along with novel approaches to training, such as government- and industry-based studentships. In addition, we recommend that professional organizations reconsider their policies on publication and governance. Although intended to maintain professional scopes of practice, these policies also serve to entrench disciplinary boundaries in research.
We conclude by suggesting a number of research questions for a more rigorous assessment of the climate for IDHR in Canada. We call for an inventory and comparative analysis of academic centres, institutes and consortiums in Canada that strive to facilitate IDHR; an examination of the impact of professional organizations on health research, and on IDHR in particular; and a systematic review of research training opportunities that promote IDHR, with a view to identifying and replicating proven models.
PMCID: PMC1569944  PMID: 17001059

Results 1-4 (4)