Current Research Projects

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Self-Management Research
Current Research Projects
Victoria Assistive Devices and Coaching Study
Funded by
 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Research Design
 The goal of the study is
  • To investigate whether technology, such as home-based electronic devices connected to an app, can enhance the health and independence of seniors, and
  • To evaluate the relative effectiveness of using devices augmented by coaching in comparison to receiving coaching only 

Study partners

  • U of Vic Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health
  • Self-Management BC

Study Population – Participants:

  • are 65 years or older
  • experiencing one or more chronic health conditions – Cardiovascular diseases (CVD), Coronary artery disease (CAD), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Respiratory diseases, and Diabetes, etc.
  • live in the Greater Victoria area (i.e., Sidney, North Saanich, Saanichton, Brentwood Bay, Cordova Bay, Saanich, View Royal, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin, Victoria, Oak Bay and Sooke)
  • have access to Internet and WiFi


Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups:

  • Group 1: Participants will receive a weekly 30 minute telephone call from a health coach starting immediately
  • Group 2: Participants will receive a weekly 30 minute telephone call from a health coach after a 3-month waiting period
  • Group 3: Participants will receive a weekly 30 minute telephone call from a health coach AND will use assistive devices that are installed in their home by the study team at no cost.
All participant receive a copy of “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” or “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Pain.”
Outcome Measures
Activation level, self-efficacy, pain level, fatigue level, shortness of breath level, depression, quality of life, general health, health care utilization, communication with GP
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Scott Hofer
Co-Principal Investigators
 Dr. Patrick McGowan and Dr. Ryan Rhodes
 For more information about the VADAC Study, please contact Suzanne at toll-free 1-866-902-3767 or email VADAC@uvic.ca
The Punjabi Diabetes Self-Management Program Diabetes App Study
Funded by
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Research Design
The initial phase of the study will be focus groups of consenting Punjabi adults with type II diabetes who have already completed a Diabetes Self-Management Program. The focus group interviews will elicit their views and opinions on teh creation of a Punjabi self-management app to complement existing care. During focus groups, consisting of approximately 10 participants each, notes will be taken to aid in transcription. This project is taking place within the Fraser Health region of British Columbia.
When focus group data have been collected, the study team will identify desired characteristics of a Punjabi diabetes self-management app. Ayogo, the study's industry partner, will be provided anonymized data from groups and develop an app on their platform.
A subsequent randomized controlled trial phase of the study will recruit Punjabi adults living with type II diabetes. Consenting adults will be randomized to an experimental or control group. Participants randomized into control groups will receive usual care. This includes assessments and care planning through the six-week Punjabi Diabetes Self-Management Program, meeting weekly in groups of 10 to 12 which last approximately 2.5 hours. These meetings will be led by pairs of trained Diabetes Self-Management Leaders.
Participants in the intervention group will also receive regular care through a group Punjabi Diabetes Self-Management Program, and in addition will be provided access to the self-management app. The app may include but is not limited to prompts about exercise, diet, medication adherence, and other self-management habits. At the end of the Diabetes Self-Management Program, a member of the research team will explain how to use the app to the participants. 
Six months after baseline, participants will be asked to complete a second questionnaire concerning their self-management. Participants in the experimental group who received the app may continue to use it after the completion of the study. Participants who decide to remove the app from their phones or tablets will be shown how by the Punjabi co-investigator. Alternatively, the research team can request Ayogo to disable it. The app will be made available to all Punjabi Diabetse Self-Management Program participants. All streaming and storage of data used in the app will be stored in British Columbia. 
At the conclusion of the study, all participants will be provided a short report on the findings and thanked for their participation. 
Outcome Measures
Activation level
A1C level
Diabetes empowerment
Self-reported health
Fatigue level
Pain level
Depression level
Communication with physician
Health care utilization
 Principal Investigator
Patrick McGowan, PhD, Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health, University of Victoria