Research Focus on Addressing Digital Health Inequities
I am a currently contracted as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Michigan’s School of Information and am working with Dr. Tiffany Veinot on our shared passion in community health and addressing digital health inequities.
My research is focused on digital health equity across the life course — my specific aim is to address digital inequities experienced by older adults aging with a chronic illness.
For over 15 years, I provided assistive technologies to people of all ages, abilities, and living situations, and met with them in their homes. It often meant trying to find funding solutions for people who could not afford assistive devices that could keep them actively engaged with their community. Seeing how local, provincial and federal policies negatively impacted people in their day-to-day lives drove me to return to school so that I could be part of system-level change. Over the past ten years my research has been focused on how to address the disparities I witnessed in the community and how to become an ally for change.
My program of research brings together digital technologies, health equity, and patient-oriented research in understanding how to address the unequitable outcomes for populations impacted by the social determinants of health. My interdisciplinary scholarship has involved bridging the disciplines of education, health informatics, nursing, pubic health and sociology in exploring how to address structural health inequities across the life course.
Mixed Methods Research
My passion for mixed methods research began during my masters, when I was introduced to this approach for exploring the complexity of health inequities. For four years I led a mixed methods research group with graduate students at the University of Victoria. More recently, I have been involved in the mixed methods workshops hosted by the University of Michigan’s Mixed Methods hub. My dissertation research involved a transformative, three-stage sequential mixed methods study that explored the role of digital technologies for people living with COPD.
Qualitative Health Research
My qualitative research skills have been developed through the coordination of multiple studies. This includes coordinating a large narrative inquiry study. This involved managing the data involving 3 sets of interviews with 83 participants. Participants were people living with a chronic illness and their family members. People were living with advanced cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), end stage renal disease (ESRD), heart failure. My skills in qualitative research have been developed through presenting and attending four international conferences on qualitative research.
I have expertise in conducting various types of systematic reviews. Examples include a scoping review on health equity in patient portal research, umbrella review on the state of the evidence in patient portals, a rapid review and environmental scan of gender, sex and sexual orientation information in digital health systems.