My research includes primary data collection studies in clinical and community settings, as well as secondary analysis of population-based surveys, health administrative data, community-based cohort studies, and other existing datasets.
Reproductive Factors and Characteristics of Menopause
The menopausal transition signals the end of reproduction function for females. Menopause can occur any time during the midlife period of 40-60 years and due to natural or medical causes. The timing and type of menopause that women experience is closely tied with subsequent health and disease risk as women age. Given the significance of menopause for women's health, there is a need to generate knowledge on what factors across the life course influence menopause onset. This study investigates how female reproductive factors, such as infertility, parity, and lactation, are associated with characteristics of menopause using data from ~19,000 women followed through the Alberta's Tomorrow Project.
I currently lead this project with mentorship from Dr. Erin Brennand. This study is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Grant.
Pregnancy Complications and Maternal Risk of Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases are chronic immune-mediated conditions that are up to 9 times more common in females compared to males, and are a leading source of disability and premature death in women. Knowledge of risk factors specific to women is essential for informing early diagnosis and treatment that can mitigate disease progression. This study investigates the association between pregnancy complications and autoimmune disease risk in women during the reproductive and middle-age years using nearly two decades of health records data from ICES for the entire province of Ontario.
I currently lead this project for my postdoctoral fellowship with mentorship from Dr. Hilary Brown. This study is funded by a Banting Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship.
Hysterectomy Versus Uterine Preservation for Pelvic Organ Prolapse Surgery (HUPPS) Study
Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) will affect half of Canadian women in their lifetime. Surgery to correct POP is common, and approaches can be divided into those that keep the uterus intact and those that remove the uterus from the patient’s body. At present, we do not have enough high quality evidence on which approach can best fix POP and restore quality of life, nor on the reasons women prefer to keep or remove their uterus during surgery. The HUPPS Study is aimed at investigating health outcomes, patient beliefs and decisions, and health service use in women choosing uterine preservation compared to those choosing hysterectomy for POP surgery up to 1 year post-operation. We are actively recruiting women from the Foothills Pelvic Floor Clinic who have been referred for POP surgery.
I am a Co-Investigator and methodologist for the HUPPS Study and work closely with Principal Investigator Dr. Erin Brennand to oversee operations. This study is funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Clinical Mentorship Grant and Early Career Investigator Award and The MSI Foundation.
The Motherhood and Chronic Illness (MaCI) Study
Maternal chronic illness is increasingly common, and is prevalent in roughly 1 in 7 new or expecting mothers. The MaCI Study was aimed at exploring how chronic condition-related factors impact women's perinatal outcomes, with a focus on breastfeeding patterns. We recruited 405 pregnant women in Alberta living with pre-existing physical health conditions (e.g., diabetes, arthritis) to fill out a series of online questionnaires during pregnancy and up to 6 months after their baby was born.
I led this project for my PhD thesis with mentorship from Drs. Katie Chaput and Suzanne Tough. This study was funded by a University of Calgary Department of Pediatrics Innovation Award and the Alva Foundation.