Supervisor: Samina Ali
Project: Adolescent and caregiver perspectives on functional outcomes following fracture: A qualitative study
Doctor of Medicine
How has your studentship helped you towards your career aspirations?
As a student with both an artistic and scientific background, my goal as a medical practitioner is to maintain the humanity of medicine and find better ways to deliver patient-centered and evidence-based care. The aims of this project align with the way that I plan to deliver care to patients. Each patient brings with them a unique story and experiences that will affect the way they respond to treatment or deal with a disease. The functional assessment tools we use in practice should mirror the realities and circumstances of our patients. This project has highlighted the importance of evolving alongside our patients and creating new tools and criteria that better suit their authentic experiences. Our patients are our greatest stakeholders and studies such as this one allow us to better direct our medical care to not just treat the biochemistry and physiology of a disease—but to treat the individual. This opportunity has been invaluable to my development as a future medical practitioner and furthered my commitment to the pediatric community.
What has WCHRI's support through the Foundations for your studentship meant to you?
This studentship, through funding provided by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, has allowed me to develop my research skills in an innovative and supportive environment. As a fellow WCHRI member, my supervisor (Dr. Samina Ali) has introduced me to the research process from start to finish and instilled the importance of constantly learning and adapting. Research is incredibly dynamic, yet I believe there are foundational pillars that make great research. One must be accountable to the population they wish to serve. Dr. Ali tells me that "failure to publish is unethical." When we decide to take on a research project in order to better serve a demographic or better understand a complex concept, we have created an unwritten contract to fulfill our research objectives to the best of our abilities. From the lunch talks to the training sessions and other events, I strongly believe that WCHRI has created an environment that breeds curiosity and ultimately success.
Fractures (broken bones) are very common, occurring in up to half of children before the age of 16 years. After receiving care in the emergency department, most children with fractures have trouble with the completion of normal day-to-day activities. Teens have further unique age-related issues, such as feeling less independent. Parents are also affected as they miss work and other commitments to help their injured child. Improving these areas of function is an important goal for such teens and their families. This study will focus specifically on understanding how function changes for teens (12-17 years) with fractures that were treated in the emergency department. We will interview teens and their caregivers to ask about how life has changed since the fracture. The themes that we uncover from these interviews will guide us in developing a new tool to better help doctors and nurses measure the impact of an injury. In this way, we can ensure that healthcare professionals and researchers are measuring the things that matter to teens and their caregivers.