Patient-centered research for better health and healthcare


Helping those who help other: Strengthening caregiving for cancer patients

November 20, 2017: Sylvie Lambert, PhD, St. Mary's Research Associate, was included in the Canadian Institutes for Health Research's online feature, "Celebrating Health Research."  Click here to read the full story.

Intervention for caregivers of older hospitalised patients

The SOS Caregivers Project brought together community (AMI Quebec ), clinical (St. Mary’s Hospital Center (SMHC)) and research (St Mary’s Research Center) partners to develop and begin to test an intervention for family caregivers of elderly hospitalized patients who are expected to return home upon discharge.

The needs assessment phase of this work revealed that caregivers unmet needs mainly pertained to medical information related to the patient condition, to support for the caregiver when the patient returns home, and to reassurance about the quality of patient care. Based on these results, the team designed an intervention to deliver information and support to caregivers of older hospitalised patients who will be returning home. In its current form, the intervention offers caregivers up to 5 individual sessions delivered by a trained lay person with counseling experience, who provides emotional support for caregivers in their caregiving role and for their own needs as well as information on community resources.

Nursing staff from the participating two units at SMHC were consulted during the intervention design phase. Although nurses recognized that this intervention can help with successful transitions from hospital to home, it was important to them that the intervention did not interfere with other clinical activities. The intervention therefore has been designed to complement existing discharge planning and to be delivered without requiring additional time or resources from staff.

Team members will be presenting more information on the outcomes of this new intervention over the following months and exploring possibilities to roll the intervention out to other sites in the IUHSSC.

For more information, contact Marcela Hidalgo at 514-345-3511, ext. 3325 or at

Funding for this project provided by l'Appui Montreal.

Self-care for cancer survivors: Project CanDirect

It is common for people who have had cancer treatments to feel down, worried or stressed. Canadian care guidelines for cancer survivors recommend supporting the active engagement of survivors in their self-care.

St Mary's researchers have partnered with collaborators within the CIUSSS ODIM and beyond to evaluate the effect of a depression self-care program which includes a self-care toolkit and telephone support from a self-care coach.

People eligible for the study are 18 or over and have completed treatments (surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy) for any non-metastatic cancer. Recruitment is being conducted through health and social service centres in Montreal and Toronto, and via community cancer support groups in Quebec and Ontario. Each participant enrolled in the study will receive the CanDirect self-care toolkit, and will be followed for 6 months.

Interested individuals (cancer survivors, clinicians, community organisers or others) are invited to contact Cindy Ibberson at 514-345-3511, extension 5593 or at for more information.

You can also visit the project website or consult this pamphlet (152 KB)

St. Mary's Research Center: Grants for our researchers

Jeannie Haggerty, as Scientific Director of the Quebec Primary Care Knowledge Network, received a $ 262,500 research grant over two years from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and 9 Funds from 8 provinces. Susan Law of the St. Mary's Research Center also made a major contribution to the application. Their project ‘’Connecting primary health care, social services, public health and community supports for children and youth and older adults: Comparing policies and programs in Canada’’ will explore best practices and policies in the country and identify areas for improvement.

Supported by the St. Mary's Hospital Foundation, researchers David Wright and Susan Law received a second grant of $ 37,500 from the Gustav Levinschi Foundation to continue their research project entitled ‘’End-of-life experiences’’.

The Drummond Foundation awarded a $ 25,000 grant to Sylvie Lambert for her research project named "Older adults with a chronic physical condition and comorbid depression and their family caregivers: Partners in the co-design of a dyadic self-care depression intervention.



The St Mary's research seminar series will resume in september.

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