The development of high quality research is one of St. Mary Hospital Centre’s top priorities, especially in light of its designation as a Centre Hospitalier Affilié Universitaire (CHAU).
In 2008, the St. Mary’s Research Centre and Foundation have created the C.A.R.E. (Competition Attracting Research Excellence) Program to support projects that contribute towards the development of clinical and health services research capacity at SMHC and have the potential to result in increased external research funding and peer-reviewed publications.
In particular, the aim of the C.A.R.E. program is to help staff members interested in research gain valuable experience in designing and leading a research project that is attuned to the needs and priorities of the Hospital.
We are proud to announce that Dr. Isabelle Leblanc, Family Physician, is a second recipient of the 2022 C.A.R.E. grant for the project “Too much pain, Doctor”: Training clinicians to detect expressions of psychological distress in patients of diverse ethnocultural groups. Dr. Leblanc is awarded $30,000 over two years.
In the U-FMG-St. Mary (University Family Medicine Group), over 35% of its patients are not Canadian-born. Studies show that ethnoculturally diverse patients experience higher rates of undiagnosed mental health conditions. The presentation of their psychological issues can differ from what is taught in western medical schools.
The title “Too much pain, Doctor” stems from Dr. Leblanc’s observation that psychosocial suffering is often initially expressed as bodily pain. Discussions with other clinicians serving multicultural patients revealed a repertoire of cultural cues to detect psychological distress along with specific communication strategies to elicit them.
There is no formal mechanism for conveying this acquired knowledge to future family physicians. Dr. Leblanc and her team propose to develop and test a training module that integrates the acquired knowledge of experienced clinicians about ethnocultural cues and communication strategies for detection and management of psychological distress into existing training on the patient-centered clinical method.
C.A.R.E. grants support projects that contribute to the development of clinical and health services research capacity at SMHC and have the potential to result in increased external research funding and peer-reviewed publications.