What are Methods Clusters?

There are two major components of the BC SUPPORT Unit:

  1. Supporting the ‘doing’ of patient-oriented research– helping research teams to link to experts and resources that will enrich the ‘patient-orientedness’ of their projects.
  2. Supporting the ‘studying’ of patient-oriented research – bringing together researchers, patients, health care providers and health care system decision makers, to collectively undertake research projects that answer questions about what are the best ways (i.e. methods) to do patient-oriented research.

GraphicThe Methods Clusters are primarily responsible for the ‘studying’ component of the BC SUPPORT Unit.

To get help for your research team to do patient-oriented research (the 'doing' component of the BC SUPPORT Unit), please fill out our inquiry form.

The mandate of the Methods Clusters is to advance the scientific methods used in patient-oriented research (POR) by fostering a community of researchers, with relevant stakeholders, to collaboratively undertake projects which will answer questions about how to do POR better.

There are three main goals for the Methods Clusters:

  1. To advance the science of the methods used within the field
  2. To promote the use of the knowledge generated by the methods cluster
  3. To promote the field of research (particularly within patient-oriented research)

What are the 6 Methods Clusters at the BC SUPPORT Unit?

Who are the Methods Cluster Leads?

Real-World Clinical Trials - Dr. Hubert Wong

Dr. Wong is seconded to the Unit from the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he is an Associate Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, Program Head of Biostatistics at the Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS), and Associate Head of Methodology and Statistics at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN). His research focuses on clinical trial design and foundational issues in statistics, and he collaborates extensively with fellow researchers in diverse areas, including HIV/AIDS, mental health, intensive care, emergency, neurology, orthopaedics, and rheumatology. He received two degrees at UBC: a BASc in Engineering Physics in 1992, and a PhD in Statistics in 2000.

Data Science & Health Informatics - Dr. Kim McGrail

Kimberlyn McGrail is Data Director for the BC Academic Health Sciences Network. She is also a Professor at UBC in the School of Population and Public Health and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Scientific Director of Population Data BC, and the PI for the SPOR Canadian Data Platform. Her research interests are quantitative policy evaluation, aging and the use and cost of health care services, learning health systems and all aspects of population data science. She conducts research in partnership with clinicians, policy-makers and the public. Kim is a founding member of the International Population Data Linkage Network and founding Deputy Editor of the International Journal of Population Data Science. She was the 2009-10 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Associate in Health Care Policy and Practice, a 2016 recipient of the Cortlandt JG Mackenzie Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and 2017 recipient of a UBC award for Excellence in Clinical or Applied Research.

Health Economics & Simulation Modelling - Dr. Nick Bansback and Dr. David Whitehurst

Dr. Bansback is seconded to the Unit from the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he is an Assistant Professor. Among many affiliations, he is the Program Head of Decision Sciences at the Centre for Health Evaluation & Outcomes Sciences (CHÉOS), one of the core partner organizations of the BC SUPPORT Unit. Dr. Bansback holds a PhD in health economics from the University of Sheffield (UK), and completed his postdoctoral training at UBC. Currently a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator, Dr. Bansback’s research is focused on using decision science to maximize the value patients and the public gain from health care.

Dr. Whitehurst is seconded to the Unit from the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He is an economist who has specialized in the areas of health and health care throughout his career. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Professor at SFU, he held research positions at UBC, and at the Universities of Birmingham and Keele in the UK. Dr. Whitehurst is also an Associate Scientist at the Centre for Clinical Epidemiology & Evaluation (C2E2), a core partner organization to the BC SUPPORT Unit. His current research is focused on the assessment of quality of life in the context of economic evaluation, and he works across a broad range of clinical areas, including spinal cord injury and care for seniors.

Knowledge Translation & Implementation Science - Dr. Linda Li

Dr. Linda Li is Professor, Harold Robinson/Arthritis Society Chair in Arthritic Diseases, and Canada Research Chair in Patient-Oriented Knowledge Translation at the Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia. She is also a Senior Scientist at the Arthritis Research Canada. Linda earned a BSc in Physiotherapy at McGill University, a MSc at University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology at University of Toronto.

Funded by Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), she completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical epidemiology/knowledge translation at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Linda is currently a Michael Smith Foundation Health Research (MSFHR) Career Investigator, and a past recipient of the American College of Rheumatology Health Professional New Investigator Award, and the CIHR New Investigator Award.

Patient Engagement - Dr. Erin Michalak

Dr. Michalak’s background is in psychology, with a PhD awarded from the University of Wales College of Medicine in the UK. Her research expertise lies in patient-engagement in research, Community-Based Participatory Research, knowledge translation, bipolar disorder, quality of life, eHealth/mHealth and implementation science.

Dr. Michalak brings valuable health research experience to the Unit. Her research has been well supported by organizations such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research. She is the founder and leader of the Collaborative RESearch Team for the study of psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD, crestbd.ca), a CIHR-funded Canadian network dedicated to collaborative research and knowledge exchange in bipolar disorder, and Program Director for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Digital Hub for Mental Health. Additionally, she has published more than 100 scientific articles and several books and book chapters.

Patient-Centred Measurement - Dr. Rick Sawatzky

Dr. Sawatzky holds a Canada Research Chair in Person-Centred Outcomes at Trinity Western University (TWU) and is a professor in TWU’s School of Nursing.  He is also Patient-Reported Outcomes (PRO) Lead at the UBC Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHEOS).

His extensive research program focuses on the validation and use of person-centred health outcomes measures and quality of life assessment instruments. Dr. Sawatzky’s work has a strong emphasis on integrating a palliative approach to care for people who have chronic life-limiting illnesses, and he is currently developing and evaluating statistical methods for patient-reported outcomes measurement in diverse populations.

Can anyone join a Methods Cluster?

There are no criteria to ‘belong’ to a methods cluster. Researchers, patients, health care providers and health care system decision makers who are interested in contributing to any of the projects or activities undertaken by the cluster are encouraged to contact Amber Hui, Knowledge Translation Specialist, Methods Clusters.

Where can I get more information?

To get more information about the methods clusters please contact Amber Hui, Knowledge Translation Specialist, Methods Clusters.