Dr. Catherine Ward-Griffin’s program of research has focused on a number of nationally funded projects, with a particular focus on gender, care work and health. Working in the areas of gerontology, health promotion, community-based research and health services, her program of research focuses on the relationships between and amongst health care providers, older adults and their family caregivers in both home-based and long-term care settings. She is particularly interested in understanding how the social determinants of health, such as gender and class relations, intersect and shape the health of women and men as they age. Much of her research explores the experiences of elders living with a variety of health challenges (e.g. dementia, cancer, mental illness), as well as investigates the care processes and health effects in light of the social, economic, and political contextual factors that promote or undermine health.
Using primarily a critical lens, Dr. Ward-Griffin has designed and implemented qualitative and quantitative both qualitative and quantitative studies that investigate the provision and interface of “formal” and “informal” care of older adults. Her most recent projects, Health Care Professionals Caring for Elderly Relatives: Investigating the Health Effects of Double Duty Caregiving (2008-2011) and Client-Caregiver-Provider Relationships in Home-Based Dementia Care: A Critical Analysis (2010-2012), examine the intersection between professional and familial care work. For the first project, a sequential mixed-method design was used to investigate how and to what degree double duty caregiving (those health professionals who provide care to family members) affects the health of female and male Registered Nurses in Canada. Study findings suggest that those double duty caregivers whose professional and familial caregiving boundaries blur substantially experience poor health outcomes. The second study, a critical grounded theory project, focuses on the relational experiences of those involved in home-based dementia care, and the contextual factors that shape the development and negotiation of those relationships. Both projects involve multiple partnerships collaborating with policy analysts, health care providers, community members, and researchers, including graduate and undergraduate students. Knowledge translation is an essential component of Dr. Ward-Griffin’s research, using traditional (e.g. journal articles), professional (e.g. working with advisory committees to influence policy), and innovative (e.g. translating findings into theatrical performances, podcasts) approaches. It is hoped that these knowledge translation activities will shed light on those policies and practices that contribute to the promotion of health of older adults and their caregivers and identify opportunities for change that will enhance health for all.
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Dr. Christine Covell, recently joined the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, as a postdoctoral fellow under the supervision of Dr. Ivy Bourgeault, CIHR Chair in Health Human Resource Policy. Dr. Covell received her Bachelor and Masters of Science in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach and PhD from the University of Toronto. Having developed and tested the middle-range theory of nursing intellectual capital during her doctoral studies, Covell’s program of research focuses on examining the influence of nursing knowledge on patient and organizational outcomes. For her postdoctoral studies, she will utilize the theory to identify the sources of nursing human capital throughout the province with the aim of providing evidence for policy development to ensure the production, recruitment and retention of educated, skilled and experienced nurses. Covell has published in national and international journals and is currently co-investigator on a MOHLTC-funded study.