SOAR: Support Opportunities and Assistance for Research

Under our Support Opportunities and Assistance for Research (SOAR) program, Horizon-affiliated clinicians or staff can apply to access dedicated resources: a team of highly-skilled research professionals with experience in quantitative and qualitative methods and clinical research conduct and administration.

With their support, clinicians or staff at Horizon can find the highest level of evidence to directly impact patient care; for developing and testing new care guidelines, improving accuracy and efficiency of diagnoses, or identifying best practices for treatment and rapid recovery.

Current Projects

Dr. Tara Kennedy
Pediatrician, Pediatric Autism Services, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation

Tanya Browne,
Occupational Therapist, Pediatric Autism Services, Stan Cassidy Centre for Rehabilitation

One-third of our patients’ families choose not to consult with our pediatric autism services team following referral. To improve access and use of our specialists, our study is working with families to learn more about their experiences with current autism services in New Brunswick, and what may be the barriers and facilitators in accessing these specialized services in the province.

Study File #: 100612; A Qualitative Study of the Barriers and Possible Facilitators for Caregivers to Engage with a Pediatric Autism Services Team in New Brunswick

Dr. Sharon Chiu and Dr. Stephen Smith
General Surgeons, Saint John Regional Hospital

Researching differences in patient care pathways for breast cancer in Horizon Health Network is important and necessary to inform clinical best practice. Our study is comparing data from two centres of care within Horizon Health Network (Saint John and Fredericton) to identify current referral patterns and determine the factors that influence the wait times from mammography to surgery, including patient, diagnostic, tumour, and treatment factors.

Study File #: 100463; An Examination of Factors Related to Wait Time to Breast Cancer Surgery in New Brunswick

Dr. Stephen Smith
General Surgeon, Saint John Regional Hospital

The intent of the New Brunswick Colon Cancer Screening Program (NBCCSP) is to detect colorectal cancer (CRC) early and save lives. However, only individuals deemed average risk are accepted to and followed by the program; above average risk individuals are managed through their family physician, being screened if there is family history. Our study will use NBCCSP data and interviews with family physicians to identify opportunities to improve colon cancer screening in the province.

Study File #: 100966;  Investigating the Impact of a Colon Cancer Screening Program for Above Average Risk Patients: A Mixed Methods Study        

Pam Driedger
Area Manager of Spiritual & Religious Care, Saint John Regional Hospital

Evidence supports the inclusion of spiritual care as an essential part of holistic, patient-centered health care. However,  addressing spiritual need and improving spiritual health depends on referral and matching to the right service. Our study will describe current spiritual care screening and assessment practices of health care providers at both regional health authorities in New Brunswick, in order to make recommendations for improving patients’ experiences.

Study File #: 100963; Spiritual Care Screening and Assessment for Hospitalized Patients: A Mixed Methods Investigation of New Brunswick, Canada

Dr. Kimberly Butt
Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialist, Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is recommended by multiple health agencies and organizations, but over the past five years we have observed decreasing rates exclusive breastfeeding at some hospitals. In our study, we will interview new mothers about their experiences, and analyze program data to better understand risk factors, barriers, and facilitators for breastfeeding, and whether there are differences depending on a patient’s use of a midwife, nurse practitioner, or general practitioner).

Study File #: 101014; Barriers and Facilitators for Breastfeeding: A Mixed Methods Study of Mother and Healthcare Provider Perspective.

Sarah Smith
ICT Team Nurse, Addictions and Mental Health, Saint John area

In our study, we will interview family caregivers and healthcare providers to gain an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of and care practices for pediatric mental health inpatients. The goal of this study is to provide evidence that can be used to enhance mental health outcomes and services for these youth and their families.

Study File #: 100960; Perceptions of Care for Pediatric Mental Health Inpatients

Dr. Richard Louis
Provincial Injury Prevention Coordinator, NB Trauma Program

Attention to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) has primarily focused on military and sports-related head injury as well as TBI in youth. However, in adults over the age of 65, even a mild and minimal TBI (mTBI) can have long-term consequences. Our study will help us gain a better understanding of current head CT scan practices for suspected mTBI in older adults in New Brunswick, and what may predict adverse outcomes for this population.

Study File #: 100646; Mild and Minimal Traumatic Brain Injury Assessment and Management in New Brunswick Older Adults