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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 05 | Mar. 8, 2001

Health researchers receive $5 million

Expectant mothers, HIV patients will be focus of two clinical trials

by Andy Poon staff writer

UBC researchers were successful in gaining almost $5 million in funding for clinical trials from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) in its most recent round of competition.

Patricia Janssen has received $1.3-million over two years from CIHR for clinical trials examining early labour support at home for expecting mothers.

Janssen, an assistant clinical professor in the Faculty of Medicine's Dept. of Family Practice and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Nursing, will compare whether a telephone consultation or a home visit by nurses yields better results in advising women in early labour on the best time to go into a hospital.

"If a pregnant woman comes into the hospital before labour is established she is in an environment where she is less active and eating and drinking less than she would be at home," says Janssen. "She may also be inclined to take pain medication which she wouldn't have if she were at home. These factors may increase her risk of having a Cesarean section."

Janssen says the current system of telephone triage -- telephone conversations between hospital staff and expecting mothers -- results in 40 per cent of first-time moms being admitted to hospital before labour is established.

Janssen is working with co-investigators Nursing Prof. Elaine Carty, doctors Joel Singer, Michael Klein, and John Zupancic of the Faculty of Medicine and Dr. Douglas Keith Still of Surrey Memorial Hospital on the study. The clinical trial is expected to begin in late spring at B.C. Women's Hospital and Health Centre and Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The Canadian HIV Trials Network, which is centred at UBC under the direction of Dr. Martin Schechter, and researchers at the University of Ottawa were awarded $3.7 million over four years by CIHR to conduct a controlled clinical trial to determine the best management of people with advanced HIV infection for whom the best available AIDS drug cocktails have failed.

"These new drugs have been a quantum leap forward in AIDS treatment, but now they are beginning to fail because of their toxicity and the ability of HIV to develop resistance to them," says Schechter. "There is a worldwide search for answers. It is gratifying to see this international trial, which was developed here in Canada, come to fruition through CIHR funding and help to lead the way."

Schechter, who heads UBC's Dept. of Health Care and Epidemiology, will work with researchers from the U.K. and the U.S. in the multinational trial.

CIHR is the major federal agency responsible for funding health research in Canada. It has replaced the Medical Research Council of Canada and Health Canada's National Health Research and Development Program.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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