Current Grants


Vancouver Coastal Health

Kimberly Noble

Frequency of Swallowing and Voice Dysfunction Following Double Lung Transplant

Being able to swallow and produce voice are actions that we complete constantly throughout the day. Swallowing and voice dysfunction following double lung transplant are quite common and carry risks of poor health outcomes, reduced quality of life, and increased hospital costs/length of stay. Limited literature exists regarding the incidences of voice and swallowing dysfunction post-transplant and there is notable methodological variability in the studies that have been done.

By completing rigorous standardized assessment of swallowing and voice in lung transplant patients at Vancouver General Hospital, we can determine the frequency of impairment and observe related variables. We will also have the opportunity to gather information on how these changes impact patients’ quality of life by way of a brief interview. It is imperative that we gain a better understanding of voice and swallowing changes in our lung transplant population.

With this knowledge we will be able to standardize our procedures in order to provide the best quality care for these individuals, while reducing hospital length of stay and acute hospital costs.

Principle Investigator: Kimberly Noble
Mentor: Dr. Stacey Skortez
Co-investigators: Kevin Chen, Geeta Modha and Larry Worfolk (patient partner)

Neringa Kubiliene

Psychosocial factors associated with resilience after lung transplantation: an interpretive descriptive study.

To address the lack of research on resilience in lung transplant recipients, this exploratory study is designed to understand how resilience is subjectively experienced by the patients. The proposed research aims to identify factors that contribute to recipient’s successful adjustment after transplant.

Participants will be patients who consent to talking about their experiences with resilience in the context of lung transplantation. To capture patient perspectives of their transplant journeys, the goal is to recruit up to 15 individuals to participate in focus groups and individual interviews. These conversations will be analyzed to better understand a wide diversity of patients’ perspectives and to capture rich descriptions of their stories. Furthermore, findings may help clinicians to gain insights into factors that contribute to everyday joys while adapting to a new life post-transplant to better support transplant recipients.

To produce transformative and patient-driven knowledge, a patient advisory group (PAG) will be created to act as a research partner through the research, including planning, recruitment, data analysis, and knowledge translation. It is hoped that including people with lived experiences as part of the PAG will increase the impact of the findings.

Principle Investigator: Neringa Kubiliene
Mentor: Dr. Roland Nador
Co-investigator(s): Alana Attema, Courtney Steen, Katrina Smith and Dr. Monica Orendain.

Providence Health Care

Christina Schellenberg

Evaluation of the Live Donation Patient and Family Group

Christina Schellenberg

Jody Max

There are over 3000 people waiting for a kidney transplant in Canada and, unfortunately, close to 100 people die every year while waiting (Canadian Blood Services, 2020). The best treatment for most of these patients is a live donor kidney transplant (LDKT) (Waterman et al., 2006). With LDKT patients do not need to wait years for a deceased donor, spend less time on dialysis (a treatment which negatively impacts patient’s quality and quantity of life) and have better outcomes than deceased donor transplants (Waterman et al., 2006).

Despite the clear benefits of having a live donor, the rates of LDKT continue to be low (Canadian Blood Services, 2020). One of the hardest things about LDTK is that the responsibility is on the patient to find a live donor. Most patients feel very uncomfortable asking someone to donate a kidney and often lack information about the safety of LDKT and how it all happens (Rodrigue et al., 2008). To this end, in September 2020 this project team created the “Live Donation Group” over Zoom to help participants become more comfortable with having conversations about LDKT by providing education, resources, tools and emotional support.

The Live Donation group interventions include discussions on ways to bring up live donation with family and friends, guest speakers with expertise and lived experience of LDTK, education about how to cope with uncertainty, anxiety and depression, and a chance to share feelings and experiences with others in a similar situation.

This research project seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of this group in helping patients and family members become more comfortable with having conversations about LDKT.

Principle Investigator: Christina Schellenberg
Mentor: Dr. Monica Beaulieu
Co-investigator: Jody Max