Past Grant Recipients 2016

Getting the Best Care

To improve quality of life for people living with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, it is essential to ensure that they receive the best care possible. Supporting research focused on understanding how patient care is currently provided and identifying new ways to provide patient care ties in with our mission of improving the lives of children and adults who are living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Below you'll find an overview of the researchers that we have supported as they work to advance patient care within the Canadian healthcare system.

2016 Grant Recipients

Dr. Geoff Nguyen

Dr. Geoffrey Nguyen University of Toronto
Research: Looking at interventions that affect compliance with medication during pregnancy to improve overall outcomes
Date: 2016-2019
Amount: $355,000

Women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a 2-fold increased risk of complications from pregnancy, primarily preterm delivery and delivery of newborns with low birth weight which substantially increase the risk of infant mortality.

Discontinuation of IBD medications during pregnancy increases the risk of active disease which is associated with adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. However, despite most IBD medications being safe, as many as 40% of women with IBD discontinue medication during pregnancy, mostly due to fear of harm to their fetus.

We will investigate an intervention that will include: (1) formal one-on-one counseling and motivational interviewing with an IBD nurse, (2) interactive video-based education materials, and (3) regular monthly telemedicine follow-up visits with the IBD nurse. 

Pregnant women with IBD who are in their first trimester and who are seen at the Mount Sinai Hospital’s high risk obstetrics clinics, participating gastroenterology clinics at Toronto’s academic hospitals or the University of Calgary will be recruited into the Counseling to Optimize Adherence in expectant mothers with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (COACH-IBD) Study. We will enroll 150 women over a 2-year period to be randomized in a 2:1 ratio into the intervention group or standard of care group. Follow-up will be until the time of delivery.

We hypothesize that there will be improvement in the primary outcome, self-reported and objectively measured medication adherence. Secondary outcomes will include number of: flares and steroid courses during pregnancy, live birth, preterm delivery, and low birth weight babies, patient trust in physicians, and patient satisfaction.

Dr. Laura Targownik

Dr. Laura Targownik | University of Manitoba
Co-investigators: Dr. Eric Benchimol, Dr. Geoff Nguyen, Dr. Lisa Lix, Dr. Sanjay Murthy, Dr. Kevan Jacobson, Dr. Gregory Rosenfeld, Dr. Cynthia Seow, Dr. Gilaad Kaplan, Dr. Jennifer Jones, Dr. Juan Nicholas Pena-Sanchez, Dr. Charles Bernstein, Dr. Harminder Singh, Dr. Alain Bitton, Dr. Maria Vutcovici, and Dr. Murray Krahn
Research: Linking Population Based Provincial Health Care Utilization Databases to Evaluate Drug Related Outcomes in IBD
Date: 2016-2019  
Amount: $350,740

Dr. Targownik is studying the effectiveness of the drugs currently prescribed to patients to look for connections between the use of specific drugs and whether their use is linked to reduced IBD-related hospitalizations, operations, and corticosteroid use.

Dr. Targownik is using provincial health records to see how medications for IBD are being used by Canadians. This work will help healthcare professionals determine whether early use of biologics and/or combination therapy are beneficial to patients.

Past recipients 

To learn about the completed research projects that we supported in 2014, click here.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

Other Areas of Interest