cancer care clinical pathways social perceptions social supports stakeholder engagement implementation science community and family resilience decision-making
My muti-faced program of research focuses on supporting cancer research in Alberta and contributing to improved cancer care delivery for better health outcomes. Particular areas of interest include stakeholder engagement, implementation science, community and family resilience, and decision-making.
My methodological strengths are in qualitative and mixed-methods research. My research is done using an applied approach and has an important stakeholder engagement component.
The projects I work on are designed and conducted in collaboration with colleagues from different academic disciplines and with the active involvement of relevant stakeholders such as patients, their families, clinicians, health-care providers, program administrators, knowledge users and policy-makers in Alberta Health Services and government.
PhD, University of Alberta, 2010
MSc, National Autonomous University of Mexico, 2003
BSc, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 1998
Qualitative study to understand the perspectives of a group of cancer patients and family members on factors associated with timelines to diagnosis and their overall experience with the diagnostic period. We are hearing from patients and family members that they are struggling emotionally in the diagnostic period, and that it is very important that they are actively involved in their care process.
Work to identify, collate and synthesize what is currently known about cancer in Alberta, and complete projections of future incidence, mortality and survival. This information will be used to create a foundation document to undertake an extensive engagement and consultation with cancer leaders and key strategic partners across Alberta, and stimulate and support discussions about future areas of focus for cancer and research/inquiry in Alberta.
Project to define a set of quality indicators that will be used to measure progress and success in advancing the work of the Cancer Strategic Clinical Network in advancing the three strategic directions defined in its Transformational Roadmap 2020-2024. To inform the definition of these indicators, we have conducted extensive literature reviews, consulted with academics and experts in the area, facilitated discussions with relevant stakeholders, and administered an indicator prioritization survey.
In partnership with Screening Programs, we are developing a position paper on cancer overdiagnosis. Key messages include: 1) population-based cancer screening programs contribute to improved survival, but are associated with a small risk of overdiagnosis; 2) incidental findings can lead to overdiagnosis of some cancers; 3) benefits of early diagnosis and treatment for most cancers at the population level outweigh the risks of overdiagnosis at the individual level; and, 4) proposed strategies to mitigate risks of overdiagnosis and overtreatment for some cancers must avoid increasing overall cancer mortality rates.
Qualitative study to understand perspectives of primary care physicians and specialists on potentially avoidable delays in diagnosing cancer and approaches to expedite cancer diagnosis in Alberta. Healthcare providers are indicating the need for enhanced support for family physicians, and better integration of primary and specialty care before cancer diagnosis. Streamlining cancer diagnosis, with the goals of enhancing patient outcomes, reducing physician frustration, and optimizing efficiency is required.
Project done in collaboration with Dr. Lee Green's team at the University of Alberta to understand family physicians’ mental models of using clinical pathways for cancer diagnosis. The study is documenting how family physicians use pathways to gather information, confirm what they already know, support what they are already doing, and as a quick guide for what steps to take when unsure. Successful implementation of pathways in primary care should ensure pathways are easy to find, easy to use, and easy to be incorporated into family physicians’ workflows.