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Congratulations to Drs. Tom Hack and Susan McClement (Psychosocial Oncology and Cancer Nursing Research) who are named as co-PI’s in a successful $519,000 three year CIHR grant with Principal Investigator Genevieve Thompson for the project “Excellence in delivering person-centered intimate care: What makes the difference.”

Also named as co-PI’s in the grant are Harvey Chochinov, Laura Funk, Michael Harlos, Nina Labun and Asha Pereira.

Project Abstract:

For those who are unable to perform intimate personal care, assistance with these intimate dependencies – bathing, feeding, toileting – is essential to maintain health, physical comfort, and well-being. No one wishes to be dependent on others for these basic human necessities, yet the reality is that because of illness or infirmity, many will require the assistance of others to ensure their intimate personal care needs are met. Research conducted by our group identified that needing assistance with intimate care is a significant driver of feeling a loss of dignity. Therefore, even though the person may receive the right care, in the right place at the right time, the manner in which intimate care is provided may profoundly affect a person’s sense of identity, self worth, and dignity. To this end, a study using direct care observations and interviews with staff and patients will be conducted with four diverse adult populations who are dependent on health care providers to have their intimate care needs met for varying lengths of time – those in nursing homes, those with chronic disabilities, those receiving palliative care, and those requiring surgery. The three main research objectives of the project are: 1) Identify and describe the characteristics of poor, marginal, and excellent intimate care in four populations; 2) Determine the barriers and facilitators to the provision of intimate care in four populations; and 3) Compare and contrast the experience of providing and receiving intimate care across these four populations. This study will allow us to develop a rich nuanced understanding of how health systems characteristics, as well as individual care providers shape intimate care delivery, and how the receipt of care is experienced across the four groups in order to gain insight into how to provide sensitive care for patients who are at their most vulnerable.