The BC SUPPORT (Support for People and Patient-Oriented Research and Trials) Unit recently announced the launch of the first wave of Methods Cluster projects. The Unit is organized into six distinct fields of expertise: the Health Economics and Simulation Modelling (HESM) Methods Cluster, the Knowledge Translation and Implementation Science (KT/IS) Methods Cluster, the Data Science and Health Informatics (DaSHI) Methods Cluster, the Real-World Clinical Trials (RWCT) Methods Cluster, the Patient Engagement (PE) Methods Cluster, and the Patient-Centred Measurement (PCM) Methods Cluster. Each Methods Cluster aims to improve how patient-oriented research is done by advancing the methods used in their respective fields.

Dr. Nick Bansback, CHEOS’ Decision Science Program Head, is a co-lead of the HESM Methods Cluster. CHÉOS Scientists are leading a number of projects funded through this cluster. Dr. Mark Harrison is a co-leading a project entitled “Using Health Economic Methods to Design Clinical Studies” that will study patient preferences for treatments and treatment delivery to inform the design of clinical studies to reflect patient priorities. Dr. Greg Werker, along with CHÉOS Trainee Stephanie Harvard, will explore value-based decisions in HESM studies and develop strategies to support shared decision making between researchers and patients. Finally, Dr. Bansback is involved in a project that will examine the use of different kinds of educational videos to improve patient knowledge and health economics research participation.

The KT/IS Methods Cluster is supporting two projects that include CHÉOS Scientists. Dr. Linda Li, who is also the Methods Cluster Lead, is partnering with the DaSHI and Patient Engagement Methods Clusters to develop an online prototype to collect patient-contributed data and generate patient-oriented research questions. Also in the KT/IS Methods Cluster, Dr. Sarah Munro is leading a team of researchers that will explore the use of documentary as a means of knowledge translation and facilitating change in audiences’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours.

Dr. Hubert Wong, who is also the Program Head for Biostatistics at CHÉOS, is the lead of the RWCT Methods Cluster. Dr. Wong is leading a project entitled Increasing statistical efficiency in Real-World Clinical Trials” which will develop statistical approaches focused on maintaining methodological rigour in the face of constraints imposed by real world logistical, ethical, and population considerations. Another project, “Embedding Patient Values in Randomized Control Trials: A Case Study”, is led by Dr. Joel Singer, with Dr. Bansback and Rebecca Metcalfe, a PhD student at SPPH and CHÉOS. This study will integrate patients’ values into endpoints for clinical trials to make results more patient-centred. Finally, Dr. Ehsan Karim is leading a team which includes Dr. Wong and CHÉOS Research Assistant Derek Ouyang. The team aims to develop and evaluate methods for improving causal inference in the analysis of pragmatic clinical trial data with the overall goal of informing patient and clinical decision making.

CHÉOS’ Dr. Rick Sawatzky is the Patient-Centred Measurement Methods Cluster Lead and CHÉOS Research Associate Alison Hoens is the Methods Cluster KT Specialist. Drs. Bansback, Wong, Li, and Sawatzky presented at the recent BC SUPPORT Unit Conference, Putting Patients First: Lessons Learned for Patient-Oriented Research, on October 4, 2018. For more information about the BC SUPPORT Unit, the Methods Clusters, and patient-oriented research, please see their website.