Explore research projects led by BC Children's Hospital and BC Women's Hospital researchers that are focused on investigating heath care delivery and policy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click on the study titles below for more information. 

Management of Type 1 Supracondylar humeral fractures during and after the COVID-19 pandemic: A multicentre randomized control trial

Anthony Cooper, Principal Investigator

The purpose of this study is to compare the clinical outcomes and parental satisfaction of treating pediatric Type I supracondylar fractures with a long arm soft cast and no clinical or radiographic follow-up versus standard treatment in a long arm cast with clinical follow-up. We propose that with clear instructions given to parents, a Type I supracondylar fracture can be managed with no significant change in pain, without formal in-person clinic consultation.

The limiting of unnecessary patient visits, X-rays and other interactions has taken on a new importance with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Any research that can limit unnecessary risk to our patients, parents and families should be considered and implemented now more than ever.

Typically, this type of fracture can be managed with minimal intervention. A cast is applied primarily to alleviate pain and the child is required to return to the hospital to have the cast removed. A soft cast provides adequate immobilization of the fracture but can be removed at home by parents. If this can be shown to provide equivalent pain relief and a similar safety profile then there will be clear benefits at this time in limiting in-person visits. In a non-COVID-19 period, there will also be secondary health economic benefits by reducing out-patient follow-up visits.

If our study proves there are no negative consequences then this treatment regime could be simply and rapidly implemented at centers around the world. Additionally if successful it might also be applied to the management of other undisplaced and stable fractures.

Contact: Harpreet Chhina

Understanding the effects of public health outbreak control policies and implementation on individuals and communities: A path to improving COVID-19 policy effectiveness

Julie Bettinger, Principal Investigator

This project will examine the cultural dimensions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic such as examining how individuals and communities understand and react to the disease, studying the response of public health, and exploring how public health policy affects individuals and communities.

While public health policies are required to control an infectious disease outbreak, these policies can adversely affect individuals and communities. Quarantine, limitations in movement and public gathering, and other restrictive measures can put a social and economic burden on individuals, which may be disproportionate, depending on their socioeconomic status and other factors. Healthcare providers are both involved in administering the policy but are also put at grave risk in caring for patients. This will be a multiprovince, multicountry study in Canada (British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia), Bangladesh, and China (Guangdong).

We will use qualitative methodology (document review, key informant interviews, focus groups) and quantitative methods (surveys) to examine policy and implementation from the public health/policy perspective as well perspectives of the media, communities, healthcare providers, patients and their caregivers, and members of the general public. These data will be used to improve the process by which public health policies are created and implemented.

For more information: The Vaccine Evaluation Center

Contact: Helen He

Study of Health Outcomes in Neonates Exposed to COVID-19 in British Columbia (SHiNE-BC)

Joseph Ting, Principal Investigator

The long-term health challenges and needs of babies born in British Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic are unknown. Babies can be exposed to the disease by their mother before birth or infected by the virus that causes COVID-19 after birth. The SHiNE-BC project will use information collected provincially to understand the health effects within the first year of life after exposure to COVID-19.

Health outcomes including diagnoses of infections and conditions affecting the lungs, visits to doctors or emergency departments, hospital stays, and prescription medications will be studied and compared among different geographical regions of BC. This vital information helps doctors improve care for these infants and assists decision-makers to address the changing needs within the health system.

Contact: Lindsay Richter

COVID-19 Immunology Consortium-BC (CIC-BC)

Manish Sadarangani, Principal Investigator

Objectives

1. Construct a universal, coordinated strategy for COVID-19 immunology research across BC, via collaboration, and establish (inter)national leadership.
2.  Establish a detailed plan of COVID-19 immunology research and education that will have a direct impact on patient care and/or policy in BC, across Canada and internationally;
3.  Enhance translational immunology educational opportunities for UBC students.

For more information: The Vaccine Evaluation Center

Contact: James Zlosnik

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on diagnosis, treatment and health care utilization patterns in children with cancer in the province of British Columbia

Meera Rayar, Principal Investigator

The overall aim of this study is to explore the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health care utilization patterns and outcomes of pediatric patients with cancer.

  1. There will be a drop in the number patients diagnosed with cancer during the peri-COVID 19 time period. This will be followed by an increased in diagnosis rates in the post-COVID 19 time period.
  2. Patients diagnosed in the post COVID 19 time period will have more advanced disease at time of diagnosis
  3. There will be no change in the health care utilization of pediatric oncology patients between the pre-, peri- and post- COVID 19 time periods.

Contact: Meera Rayar

Narrative as a tool for rapid knowledge translation with decision makers during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarah Munro, Principal Investigator

Contact: Sarah Munro

Digital Virtual Support to Cases and Contacts of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Readiness and Knowledge Sharing for Global Outbreaks (WelTel PHM)

Kathryn Armstrong, Principal Investigator

Purpose: To support patients who require regular follow-up from their Healthcare providers (e.g., pediatric cardiology)

  • Provide front line healthcare workers with a digital health solution that can assist them with providing care and communicating with patients while preventing exposing others.
  • To support and monitor patients and contacts of COVID-19 who are on home isolation (if applicable)

Contact: Claire Galvin

COVID-19 Occupational Risks, Seroprevalence and Immunity among Paramedics in Canada (CORSIP Canada)

Brian E. Grunau, Principal Investigator

The purpose of this study is to better understand COVID-19 infection, immunity and occupational risk factors among paramedics in Canada. The overall study includes two sites: BC (the lead site) and Ontario.

Understanding the disease epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is paramount to slow the spread of infection, minimize mortality, and provide robust evidence to inform policy making, especially pertaining to front-line healthcare workers. In response to this unprecedented public health crisis, the COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF) has been given the mandate to fund studies to investigate the epidemiology of COVID-19 in Canada. These funded studies will contain a variety of data including clinical, serological, administrative, demographic, socioeconomic, cultural practices and lifestyle, and environmental data, among others. Our study will provide critical and urgently needed data to inform policy on workplace safety and the occupational risks of paramedics.