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About Sickkids
About SickKids

May 29, 2013

Stinson receives two eHealth Innovation Catalyst grants

Dr. Jennifer Stinson was awarded two research grants from the eHealth Innovation Catalyst Grant program led by the CIHR Institute of Health Services and Policy Research. Of 15 grant recipients, Stinson, who is Scientist and Nurse Practitioner in the Chronic Pain Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), was the only researcher to receive funding for two research projects.  

The announcement was made by Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq at the 2013 e-Health: Accelerating Change conference.

Using e-health technologies to improve the assessment and management of pain and other symptoms in children with chronic illnesses, Stinson’s research projects focus on online support for children and teens with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and cancer.

The first project focuses on kids with JIA, a common chronic childhood illness that is characterized by the inflammation of joints. During childhood, the patient and family usually manage the disease together, but as the child matures he is expected to play a bigger role in his own care. Stinson explains that “improved disease self-management may not only prevent worsening of the disease and its symptoms but it could also help to ease the transition to adult care.”

Peer support is proposed as one solution to improve disease self-management. Stinson and her team will conduct a clinical trial to determine the feasibility of online face-to-face peer support programs (using video chat like Skype) for teens with JIA.  

Stinson’s second research project involves developing and testing a secure online communication tool to promote collaborative care between young adults with cancer and their health care team. These patients require a lot of medical care and like patients with JIA, as they mature they are expected to play a bigger role managing their health. Since they access care from various places, communication and coordination among members of the medical team across hospitals, clinics and community settings can be very challenging.

“We anticipate that this online tool will result in improved engagement in team-based care among patients and healthcare providers alike, as well as timelier and more integrated care,” says Stinson. “This study focuses on adolescents and young adults with cancer, but the core platform will be easily customizable to the needs of any adolescent and young adult with any complex health care need.”