Mifepristone Implementation Research in Canada

Principal Investigator: Dr. Wendy Norman

Primary Contact: Sarah Munro, Post-doctoral Fellow, 604-875-2424 ext 4990, Sarah.Munro@ubc.ca

About the study: Mifepristone, approved by Health Canada, will be introduced in 2017. Currently 96% of Canadian abortions are surgical, largely concentrated in the largest cities close to the southern border. Overcoming barriers for provision of mifepristone abortion by current and new abortion providers could help to address this disparity. We are undertaking this national study to measure, and concurrently address, the facilitators and barriers for successful initiation and ongoing provision of medical abortion, and to measure changes to abortion access throughout Canada.

Why is this research important? This foundational research at the time of introduction for an innovative practice in Canada, will support advances for training programs and will inform health policy, system and service improvements to facilitate equitable access to medication abortion options for women throughout Canada.

What impact has this research had on policy? This study has involved close partnership with decision makers responsible for mifepristone policy in Canada. During the study period, our research-policy collaboration accelerated health system change through concurrent identification and mitigation of barriers to implementation of mifepristone. The research evidence contributed to removal of the federal requirements for observed dosing, practitioner training, practitioner registration, and physician-only prescribing and dispensing.

Study status: In the process of data collection and has begun preliminary analysis.

Who can participate? This study has three groups of participants: (1) physicians and pharmacists completing mifepristone training certification; (2) physicians and pharmacists who were eligible to provide mifepristone abortion services but did not complete certification; and (3) health service stakeholders who have an influential role in the health policy, system, and/or services that contribute to adoption and diffusion of abortion practice in Canada.

Co-Investigators: Drs. Tamil Kendall, Jan Christilaw, Edith Guilbert, Jennifer Blake, James Meuser, Philip Emberley, Rollin Brant,  Melissa Brooks, Stirling Bryan,  Dustin Costescu, Sheila Dunn, Angel Foster, Janusz Kaczorowski,  Sarah Munro, Regina Renner, Judith Soon, Eleni Stroulia, Flora Teng, Ashley Waddington, Marie-Soleil Wagner.

Funded by: CIHR, MSFHR, BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre

Impact of Timing of Surgical Management After Detection of Early Pregnancy Loss on Women’s Emotional Health study

Principal Investigator: Dr. Stephanie Fisher

Primary Contact: Emma Branch, Research Assistant, WHRI, 604-875-2424 ext 4796, Emma.Branch@cw.bc.ca 

About the study: We want to explore how the timing of having a dilatation and curettage (D&C) procedure for a miscarriage impacts a women’s emotional well-being. Dilatation and curettage (D&C) is a minor surgical procedure in which the cervix is gently opened (dilation) and the pregnancy is removed with a suction device or small curette (curettage). D&C is performed to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage. This study is qualitative and exploratory. Women taking part in this study will be asked to participate in an interview. In addition, we will collect information about the D&C procedure and some demographic data.

Why is this research important? We hope that the findings in this study can be used to improve counseling for women who choose to undergo a D&C procedure for their early pregnancy loss (less than 12 weeks and 6 days).

Study status: No longer recruiting.

Who can participate: We want to hear from women who had a D&C procedure within 36 hours of their visit to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic (EPAC) and from women who had a D&C procedure after 36 hours of their visit to EPAC.

Co-Investigators: Mariana Veiga, Caitlin Johnston, Dr. Stephanie Rhone, Edwina Houlihan.

Funded by: BC Women’s Hospital Nursing Research Grant

Tomosynthesis Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (TMIST)

Principal Investigator: Dr. Paula Gordon

Primary Contact: Melissa Watt, Research Coordinator, 604-875-2424 ext 4878, TMIST@cw.bc.ca

About the study: This study aims to enroll 3,000 women in the Vancouver area into a screening mammography trial. Each woman will be randomized either into a group that receives regular 2-dimensional screening or a new type of screening called Tomosynthesis, which has 3-dimensional capability. Both groups of woman will receive their respective screening mammography exams annually for three years.

Why is this research important? The findings from this study will help determine whether tomosynthesis results in fewer false-positive findings (reduced recall rate) than traditional 2D mammography.  This could result in less anxiety for women who receive abnormal results and lower economic burden of unnecessary follow-up on the health care system.

Study status: Recruiting

Who can participate? Women over the age of 50, fluent in English, Eligible for mammography screening at the Screening Mammography Program of British Columbia, Are able to return to the original sites (BC Women’s Hospital or X-Ray 505) for further screenings.

Co-Investigators: Dr. Linda Warren, Janette Sam, Dr. Andy Coldman, Dr. Joseph Yang.

Funded by: Gordon and Leslie Diamond family/BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre Foundation

Partners: BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre, BC Cancer Agency, Screening Mammography Program of BC, American College of Radiology (ACR), American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN)