Examples of primary care research

This section includes examples of primary care research projects from DFM faculty. These examples were selected to show a range of scale, methodology and topic. We also wanted to show the different stages and progression of a research project. We have included examples of DFM pilot projects that led to additional funding and publications. We have also shown the progression of some of our larger research projects from pilot stage to scale up.

E-dosette study – Henry Siu

Learner mistreatment & abuse –  Meredith Vanstone, Amanda Bell

  • Pilot project : Vanstone M, Bell A, Dore K, Grierson L, Kinzie S, Mountjoy M, Walsh A. Medical learner mistreatment and abuse: Influence of clerkship and residency structure. DFM pilot funding. $5,000. 2016-2017. 
  • Additional funding: Bell A, Grant C, Vanstone M. Barriers to Medical Student Reporting of Mistreatment and Abuse. Canadian Association of Medical Educators Wooster Family Grant in Medical Education. $9,809. April 2017-June 2018. 
  • Additional funding: Vanstone M (PI), Connelly CE, (Co-PI), Bell A, Dore K, Mountjoy M, Walsh A, Wong A, Whyte R. Unproductive, unprofessional, and abusive behaviours in the clinical workplace: The influence of working environment on the development of future health leaders. Michael G. DeGroote Health Leadership Academy. $20,000. September 2017-August 2019. 
  • Publication: Bell A, Cavanagh A, Connelly CE, Walsh A, Vanstone M. Why do few medical students report their experiences of mistreatment to administration. Medical Education 2020; 55 (4): 462-470. 

Second Heart program – Robin Lennox

  • Pilot project: Lennox R. What makes a good peer support worker to support people who inject drugs after hospitalization? DFM pilot funding. $4,980. 2018-2019 
  • Publication: Lennox R, Lamarche L. & O’Shea T. (2021). Peer support workers as a bridge: a qualitative study exploring the role of peer support workers in the care of people who use drugs during and after hospitalization. Harm Reduct J 18, 19.  
  • Grant: Lennox R (co-PI), Martin L (co-PI), Lamarche L, O’Shea T, Whitlock R, Belley-Cote E, Regenstreif L, Kouyoumjian F, Neary J, You J, Mertz D. The Second Heart Program: A peer-focused, multidisciplinary harm reduction intervention to improve outcomes for people who inject drugs after admission for infective endocarditis. Hamilton Academic Health Sciences Organization (HAHSO). $187,000. April 2020 to September 2022 

MaiD systematic review – Tejal Patel

Advance Care Planning – Dale Guenter, Michelle Howard 

  • Pilot project: Testing and Improving a Training Module for Advance Care Planning Among Primary Care Clinicians and Trainees. DFM pilot funding. $5,000. 2017-2018 
  • Additional funding: Howard M (PI). Improving advance care planning for frail elderly Canadians, Canadian Frailty Network, Transformative Grant. $365,390.70. April 2017 to March 2020. 
  • Publication: Hafid A, Howard M, Guenter D, Elston D, Fikree S, Gallagher E, Winemaker S, Waters H. Advance care planning conversations in primary care: a quality improvement project using the Serious Illness Care Program. BMC Palliative Care 2021; 20, 122. 

TAPER – Dee Mangin

CP@clinic – Gina Agarwal

Health TAPESTRY – Dee Mangin, Doug Oliver, David Price

*DFM faculty members can access full text articles from the McMaster Health Sciences Library using your MacID. To request your MacID, or if you’re having issues, please email Faculty Relations at fmappts@mcmaster.ca.


  • RKSB session from October 18, 2022 “Working with the experts: involving people with living and living experience in research” added to Social Accountability page.

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