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New Funding for Research to Examine Population Interventions and Their Health Impacts

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-12-01 - CIHR recognizes the importance of supporting researchers who evaluate the effectiveness of population interventions aimed at improving the health of Canadians. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
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Fourteen research projects on population health intervention research received $2.8 million in funding. The Vice-President of Research at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Dr. Pierre Chartrand today announced these initiatives during the Population Health Intervention Research Symposium in Toronto.

"CIHR recognizes the importance of supporting researchers who evaluate the effectiveness of population interventions aimed at improving the health of Canadians," said Dr. Chartrand. "The work of talented researchers who are leading the projects announced today will contribute to our knowledge of effective population health policies, programs and strategies."

Over the past few years, population health intervention research has come into prominence because there is a strong need to focus on prevention and solutions to the problems of chronic disease and health inequities. Population health intervention research focuses on policies, programs and resource distribution approaches such as changes in workplace and transportation design; shifts in policies related to poverty reduction, tobacco sales, the promotion of healthy body weights and physical activity; and the introduction of new programs such as provincial and municipal-level initiatives that aim to provide consumers with options that make healthier choices easier choices.

"An exciting aspect of population health intervention research involves assessing the health impact of promising policies and programs that are being put in place, including those outside the traditional health sector," said Dr. Nancy Edwards, Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Population and Public Health. "This research provides vital information required to guide the design of program and policies that will help Canadians from all walks of life to reap the benefits of good health."

This funding will enable researchers to:

  • Assess the influence of nutrition and physical activity policies on the school environment and weight outcomes (Dr. Louise C Masse at the University of British Columbia)
  • Investigate Manitoba's new policy for physical education for secondary students (Drs. Jonathan M McGavock and Catherine Casey at the University of Manitoba)
  • Examine the impact of the Montreal public bicycle rental program BIXI aimed at increasing the accessibility of an active mode of transportation (Dr. Lise Gauvin at Center Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal)
  • Evaluate the consequences of the Montreal children's school readiness Investigation (Dr. Angele Bilodeau at the Universite de Montreal)
  • Assess the implementation of the "Choisir de Maigrir" program in health and social service centers in Quebec and its impact on lifestyle habits and well-being (Dr. Catherine Begin at the Universite Laval in Quebec)
  • Evaluate the new rapidly unfolding Ontario tobacco retail sales strategy (Dr. Joanna E Cohen at the University of Toronto)
  • Examine the health Impact of unexpected school closure (Dr. Alberto Nettel-Aguirre at the University of Calgary)
  • Investigate the impact of policy interventions for problematic prescription opioid use and related harms (Dr. Benedikt Fischer at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia)
  • Study the health and healthy equity promotion interventions for pregnant and early parenting women facing substance use and other challenges (Dr. Cecilia M Benoit at the University of Victoria)
  • Evaluate the progress of the inter-sectoral health promotion initiative ActNowBC (Dr. Robert Geneau at the University of Ottawa)
  • Study the implementation and impact of an intervention program against malaria in Burkina Faso (Dr. Slim Haddad at Center Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal)
  • Use administrative data to evaluate a parenting intervention (Susan V Dahinten at the University of British Columbia)
  • Assess Eastern Townships communities: reinforcing action on social determinants of health (Dr. Paul Morin at the Universite de Sherbrooke)
  • Evaluate a strategy to improve cardiovascular disease screening and treatment for those at risk of diabetes (Dr. Baiju R Shah at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center)

This funding initiative is a partnership co-led by the CIHR Institute of Nutrition, metabolism and Diabetes and Population and Public Health, with the participation of the CIHR Institutes of Circulatory and Respiratory Health and Human Development, Child and Youth Health; as well as the Canadian Population Health Initiative of the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care through its Applied Health Research Networks Initiative.

About Canadian Institutes of Health Research - For the past 10 years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) has supported better health and health care for Canadians. As the Government of Canada's health research investment agency, CIHR enables the creation of evidence-based knowledge and its transformation into improved treatments, prevention and diagnoses, new products and services, and a stronger, patient-oriented health-care system. Composed of 13 internationally recognized Institutes, CIHR supports more than 13,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca





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