Research in Progress

Comprehensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Programming for Patients Following Transient Ischemic Attack

(Funded by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario)
Comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CCR), integrating lifestyle interventions and medications, reduces morbidity and mortality among heart patients. Integrated multifactorial approaches comparable to CCR have not typically been used with cerebrovascular populations, despite commonalities with coronary heart disease patients. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial is to determine in patients following a transient ischemic attack or mild non-disabling stroke, whether a 6-month case managed cardiac rehabilitation program, can significantly improve key variables related to the vascular risk of recurrent cerebral or cardiac events, depression and cognition.

Neville Suskin, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, Medical Director Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program
Peter Prior, BSc, MA, PhD, Psychologist, Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program; & Adjunct Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychology, UWO
Richard Chan, MBBS, Neurologist, Associate Professor, Neurology, UWO
Vladimir Hachinsky, MD, FRCPC, MSc, DSc, Neurologist, Distinguished University Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology and BioStatistics, UWO
J. David Spence, MD, FRCPC, FAHA, Neurologist, Professor, Dept. of Clinical Neurological Sciences
Grace Parraga, PhD, Scientist, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Diagnostic Radiology & Nuclear Medicine, UWO
Amit Garg, MD, FRCPC, FACP, MA, PhD, Nephrologist, Scientist, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology and BioStatistics


Reliable Change in Cardiac Rehabilitation

(Funded by the Lawson Health Research Institute)
This research is planned in two phases. The first, “reliability” phase aims to establish test-retest reliability, or stability estimates for key cardiac rehabilitation (CR) outcome measures, including aerobic capacity measured by exercise stress testing; and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and health-related quality of life, measured by standardized psychological questionnaires. The stability estimates will be used to calculate Reliable Change Indices (RCIs), to reduce the proportion of measurement error and effects of practice in change scores based on pre-post-CR comparisons. A second “validation” phase is planned to test the ability of RCIs to improve cardiovascular risk prediction, compared to simple pre-post-treatment difference scores.

Peter Prior, BSc, MA, PhD, Psychologist, Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program; & Adjunct Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychology, UWO
Megan O’Connell, B.A., M.A., Ph.D.
Neville Suskin, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, Medical Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program
Karen Unsworth, BPE., M.Sc., Program Coordinator, Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program


Using Automated Telephone Calls to Improve Disease Management and Compliance with Acute Coronary Syndrome Best Practice Guidelines

(Funded by Bristol Myers Squibb, University of Ottawa Heart Institute)
The purpose of this project is to test a new approach to improving compliance with best practice guidelines by using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) follow-up with acute coronary syndrome patients. IVR is an automated calling system that delivers predetermined questions assessing the patient’s level of compliance while incorporating patient education into the messaging. This initiative will place patients at the center of care, increasing awareness of their treatment needs and providing feedback on care management. It has the potential to increase medication compliance and decrease adverse events while providing educational support.

Neville Suskin, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, Medical Director Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program
Robert D. Reid, PhD, MBA, Minto Prevention & Rehabilitation Centre, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Karen Unsworth, BPE., M.Sc., Program Coordinator Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program
Peter Prior, BSc, MA, PhD, Psychologist, Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program; & Adjunct Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychology, UWO
Grace-Ann Koops Huygen, BScN, Cardiac Care, LHSC
Rosanna Turner, BA, Cardiac Care, LHSC


The CR2Doc Study: Cardiac Rehabilitation eDischarge Continuity

(Funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Information)
Primary care providers (PCPs) need to receive summaries regarding care provided in cardiac rehabilitation (CR) to ensure appropriate long-term management and follow-up. There are two primary objectives of this study: 1) to determine (a) the proportion of CR intake and discharge summaries received by primary care physicians and (b) whether the discharge summary is utilized in patient care when sent via regular mail or fax versus e-mail; 2) to (a) qualitatively explore PCP perception of the intake and discharge eSummaries, and (b) quantitatively compare PCP perceptions of the paper and electronic discharge summaries 3 months post-CR for patient care.

Sherry L. Grace, PhD, Toronto General Hospital and York University
Sharmila Sriranjan, BSc, Toronto General Hospital
Neville Suskin, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, London Health Sciences Centre and University of Western Ontario
Peter Prior, PhD, London Health Sciences Centre and University of Western Ontario
Karen Unsworth, MSc, London Health Sciences Centre
Julie Lorenzin, RN, MScN, London Health Sciences Centre
Heather Arthur, PhD, McMaster University
Robert Reid, PhD, University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Donna Stewart, MD, Toronto General Hospital


Feasibility of a Community-based Exercise Promotion Program for Oncology Patients suffering from Fatigue : A Pilot Study

The role of functional rehabilitation including regular exercise is a key component of cardiovascular disease care. In oncology, however, the role of exercise is just beginning to be understood. Fatigue is the most common symptom experienced by cancer patients, both during and after treatment. This pilot project aims to determine the feasibility and acceptance of a community-based intervention through enrollment of cancer patients in the cardiac rehabilitation exercise program. Other outcomes assessed will be body composition and exercise tolerance, quality of life, symptom improvement including fatigue, and satisfaction with the setting and structure of the exercise program. Additional test outcome measures include actigraphy to measure longer-term physical activity changes.

Michael Sanatani, MD, FRCPC, Department of Medical Oncology, Division of Oncology
David Massel, MD, FRCPC, Department of Cardiology, Division of Medicine
Harry Prapavessis, Ph.D., Department of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario
Neville Suskin, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, Department of Cardiology, Division of Medicine


Plasticity of Cortical-Cardiovascular Interactions in Vascular Disease

(Funded by the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario)
The VASCULAR Study is an assessment of the impact of usual care (UC) or usual care plus six months of a cardiac rehabilitation program (CR) on the health of the brain, heart and blood vessels in patients with coronary artery disease. The study includes a non-patient control group (CON) and two patient groups (UC or CR). Testing evaluates patient health at the beginning and end of a six-month period of UC or CR.

Kevin Shoemaker, PhD, Associate Professor, UWO
Neville Suskin, MBChB, MSc, FRCPC, FACC, Cardiologist, Medical Director Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program
Keith St. Lawrence, PhD, Assistant Professor, UWO

Last updated: Thu, 2012-10-25 15:49