Current Projects

Current Projects – April 2022

The Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care provides residents, tenants, families, caregivers and staff the opportunity to become involved in a variety of innovative projects and initiatives. This creates opportunities to engage in meaningful social and recreational activities such as learning a new skill, sharing experiences, and providing input on various issues. Participation also helps contribute to knowledge that can help improve care.

All projects follow public health measures related to COVID-19 and the policies set out by Perley Health. Below is a list of ongoing projects that the Centre of Excellence is involved with, many of which are
seeking participants:

1)  Psychosocial Impacts of Reducing Non-Essential Visitors in Long-Term Care in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Structured Interview Matrix)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This study aims to gain a better understanding of the emotional and psychosocial well-being (e.g. psychological distress, loneliness) of family/friend caregivers and volunteers. Healthcare professionals, family/friend caregivers and formal volunteers will share their experience on the impacts of reducing non-essential visitors in LTC through a virtual structured interview matrix (group discussion) expected to take up to 3 hours. Participants will be compensated $20 per hour. The data gained from this project can be applied to improve the current COVID-19 situation in addition to improving pandemic preparedness for the LTC homes during future outbreaks across Canada and internationally.

2) Social Inclusion of People Living with Dementia and Their Caregivers Using an Intergenerational Program

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa; Dr. Linda Garcia, Faculty of Health Sciences, LIFE Research Institute, University of Ottawa

Older adults (long-term care residents and tenants) living with dementia can receive friendly one-on-one visits from university student volunteers, providing them with an opportunity to engage in social and recreational activities and meaningful conversations. The caregiver of the person living with dementia will be asked to complete a 20-minute questionnaire on 4 occasions.

3) Testing Online Meaning-Centered Groups (OMG) in Promoting Psychological Well-Being and Reducing Distress in Ontario Retirement Home Residents

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Marnin Heisel, Psychiatry, Epidemiology & Biostatistics Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute; Danielle Sinden, Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care, Perley Health

Older adults over the age of 60, living in a Retirement Home (RH) or senior living community in Ontario who have been feeling lonely, socially-isolated or stressed will participate in an online peer support group that promotes social connection, emotional health and well-being and explores meaning in life in the face of the pandemic. Participants will participate in an online interview (40-75 minutes) to determine eligibility. If eligible, participate in an 8-week series of online group discussions (75-90 minutes/week) with 8-12 participants living in RH across Ontario and 2-3 group facilitators and complete up to 4 additional online research interviews (60-120 minutes) throughout the year to evaluate the groups.

 4) Java Music Club

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

The Java Music Club is a research-based peer support group that involves Perley Health recreation staff, volunteers and residents facilitating peer support group activities to other LTC residents targeting social isolation. During group activities, participants are able to provide support to one another by sharing vulnerabilities and strengths. The intervention creates a safe environment that allows residents to engage in interactive discussions and participate in a variety of activities such as interpreting photography, listening to music and reading articles. The main focus is residents helping residents which adds purpose and meaning in their lives.

5) Role of Management in Health IT Adoption in Long-Term Care Homes: An Exploratory Study of Key Factors Affecting Health IT Decision-Making

Principal Investigator: Danielle Cruise; Supervisor: Dr. Mirou Jaana, Telfer School of Management; University of Ottawa

Health information technology (HIT) provides opportunities to support long-term care (LTC) staff and residents. Yet, LTC homes lag significantly behind other areas in healthcare in relation to the adoption of HIT. This research aims to explore the factors that managers consider in their decision to adopt technology in their respective LTC homes. Managers and clinicians of LTC homes will be asked to answer 3 survey questions online (each 10 minutes long) on the factors that inform their decision-making. The findings will be helpful from the LTC managers’ perspective as they can be used as a benchmark of key factors to consider in their decision to adopt HIT solutions. 

6) COVID-19 Immunity Study

Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Amy Hsu, Bruyère Research Institute and Dr. Marc-Andrè Langlois, University of Ottawa

This study involves residents, staff, students, volunteers and caregivers in long-term care homes across Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. The aim of this project is to gain a better understanding of COVID-19 prevalence in LTC homes across Canada and to examine the level and duration of protection of COVID-19 vaccines. Participants will be asked to complete an online baseline survey (15 minutes) and provide blood spot samples collected at several time points over the next 12 months. Participants can access their antibody results through a secure web-based portal. Also, participating LTC homes will be given the aggregate data which will provide valuable information about a home’s overall level of immunity and risk.

7) Program to Accelerate Technologies for Homecare (PATH)

Co-Principal Investigators, Ottawa site: Dr. Jeffrey Jutai, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa; Dr. Jason Millar, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Ottawa

PATH is a multi-partner initiative to increase the understanding of the potential role that home-based technologies can play in the care and well-being of older adults. Groups of older adults will be provided various devices and technologies (e.g. blood-pressure monitors, pressure-sensitive mats that track sleep patterns, wearable devices that can detect falls, etc.) and their experiences monitored. Researchers will share the data with industry to test, validate and potentially commercialize products. The CoE is recruiting LTC residents and Seniors’ Village tenants to participate.

8) Using Participatory Design to Develop Ethical Data Sheets for the Research and Design of Ambient Assistive Living Technologies

Co-Principal Investigators: Katherine-Marie Robinson, Dr. Rachana Devkota; Supervisor: Dr. Jason Millar, School of Engineering Design and Teaching Innovation, University of Ottawa

The purpose of this project is to learn more about the thoughts, opinions, questions, and concerns that Perley Health community members have regarding consumer health technology such as wearable smart devices and smart cameras. Perley Health tenants, residents, family members, and healthcare professionals (PSWs, nurses, Clinical Care Managers, Physicians, etc.) will provide feedback that will be used to develop a design tool that engineers, designers, and researchers can use to help them take your questions and concerns into account when designing and developing future consumer health technology.

9) Identifying the Factors Associated with Older Adults’ Acceptance of Virtual Reality Games

Principal Investigator: Marjan Hosseini, School of Rehabilitation Science, University of Ottawa; Supervisor: Dr. Jeffrey Jutai, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This study aims to explore factors that affect long-term care residents’ acceptance of virtual reality (VR) games. Virtual reality technology can be used to enhance physical ability and reduce sedentary behaviors. Perley Health residents and tenants will be asked to participate in three 20-minute gaming sessions with a physical activity VR game for two weeks. They will also be invited to complete a questionnaire and a voluntary interview to provide feedback about their gaming experience in order to understand their interaction with VR games. Staff will be interviewed to share their thoughts about residents’ acceptance of technology (staff do not play the VR games). The feedback collected will be used to develop a conceptual model of acceptance that is inclusive of seniors living in long-term care.

10) Health Surveillance of Community-Dwelling, Person-with-Dementia and Caregiver Dyads

Principal Investigator: Dr. Annie Robitaille, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa

This project aims to increase understanding of the trajectories of individuals living with dementia and their caregivers (dyads) from diagnosis to the move into LTC. Information will be collected from dyads over extended periods of time and the results used to inform policies, programs and areas of future research in Canada.

11) COVID-19, Precarity and the Counternarratives of PSWs: Photovoice and Change

Principal Investigator: Veen Wong, Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo; Supervisor: Dr. Patricia Van Katwyk, School of Social Work, Renison University College, University of Waterloo

This project will shed light on the work perspective of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) during the pandemic. During group and individual virtual interviews, PSWs will be encouraged to describe their experiences, particular whether they consider their work as essential, precarious and/or unseen, and how various policies and systems shape their work experiences. Each participant will then be encouraged to create images based on these discussions – a technique known as photovoice. The identity of the image-takers will remain anonymous and the images will be analyzed and shared. Each participant will receive an honorarium of $50.

Contact Information

If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more about a particular project, please contact:

Nikita Rayne

Research Coordinator, Centre of Excellence

Perley Health

1750 Russell Road, Ottawa ON K1G 5Z6

613-526-7170 ext. 2232

Danielle Sinden

Director, Centre of Excellence and Research Operations

Perley Health

1750 Russell Road, Ottawa ON K1G 5Z6

613-526-7170 ext. 2424