The goal of Hannah’s practicum is to generate new knowledge related to the sociodemographic characteristics of women in BC with cervical cancer in order to inform cancer prevention and control strategies and ensure an inclusive health system that benefits all women. She is working on cleaning, analyzing and reporting on data obtained from the BC Cancer Registry, BC Cancer Health Assessment Forms (HAF) and the Patient-Reported Information and Symptom Measurement (PRISM) forms. Hannah will link these data sources to compare sociodemographic characteristics of women with cervical cancer to characteristics of women from the general population of BC by working with Census program and Canadian Community Health Survey datasets. Additionally, she will be contributing to a manuscript discussing the results of this analysis. She has also been working on a report on cervical cancer incidence and trends across Canada, using publicly available Statistics Canada data, and creating documents for dissemination and knowledge translation.
Hannah’s favourite part of her practicum so far has been learning R using online modules, and applying these new skills toward data visualization.
Amanda is completing her practicum at the Women’s Health Research Institute and BC Center for Disease Control. She has been involved in the data management and analysis of a STI self-care survey administered at two STI clinics in Vancouver. Her analysis will explore client preferences for STI self-testing and self-care, as well as the barriers to accessing safe and adequate sexual health resources. This work will help inform future additional care options for effective STI program improvement and delivery related to alternative options to BC residents. Amanda is also working with STRIVE-BC to develop and implement a survey for a pre-conference symposium at the STI & HIV World Congress in July 2019. This survey will determine the STI vaccine research priorities of symposium attendees, following in line with the World Health Organization’s roadmap outlining the various channels that should be explored before STI vaccine implementation to optimize uptake. Amanda’s favorite part of her practicum thus far has been the opportunity to connect with and learn from other women in the research community, to grow as a researcher herself, and work towards exploring and addressing barriers to care and overall sexual and reproductive health. Being in an environment that offers opportunities to learn about the varies aspects of public health research has allowed Amanda to be inspired and motivated in her own work, and by the many researchers leading the way in women’s health.
Aneisha Collins-Fairclough, PhD
Aneisha is working on a systematic review to determine the optimal timing of the second dose of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in a two dose schedule. Prophylactic HPV vaccines are very effective at preventing HPV infection and associated diseases. Improving HPV vaccination coverage is therefore a global priority. HPV vaccines were licensed for use on a three dose schedule, but three doses present affordability challenges, and unsatisfactory compliance with completion of vaccine regimen. Administering fewer doses at longer time intervals may be worthwhile if HPV vaccines remain effective when administered on such modified schedules. An accrual of empirical evidence showed that administering two doses of HPV vaccines at least five months apart provides adequate protection to children 9-14 years and led to widespread adoption of two dose schedules for this group. Recent studies of alternate or extended schedules indicate the possibility for further optimizing the spacing of the two doses. Aneisha will therefore conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the comparability in effectiveness when two HPV vaccine doses are administered 5-6 months apart versus longer intervals apart. This is a timely knowledge translation activity that should be informative for HPV vaccination program decision makers.
Aneisha has enjoyed the diversity of activities involved in executing this project, from leading the development of this systematic review protocol, to contributing to the execution of the review and managing the review process. She is grateful to Dr Ogilvie and her team, especially Dr Robine Donken, who provided guidance throughout the process.
Jessica is currently working with the Global Control of HPV Related Diseases and Cancer team on the Advances in Screening and Prevention in Reproductive Cancers (ASPIRE) project. Her practicum work involves developing an evaluation strategy and drafting a protocol for ASPIRE-Mayuge – a pragmatic cluster randomized controlled trial that will compare the effectiveness of two community-based cervical cancer screening models using self-collected HPV testing in rural Uganda. As a student in the MPH Global Health stream, Jessica is excited to have the opportunity to contribute to a project aimed at improving women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in a global health setting. Particularly, Jessica has enjoyed learning about implementation science and developing evaluation metrics to inform program scale-up at a national level by applying the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework.