In February, Diabetes Action Canada Patient Partner and Scientific Ambassador Lucie Vaillancourt attended the Joint annual meeting of SQLNM, the CMDO network and COLosSUS Congress in Magog-Orford, Quebec.
For Vaillancourt, who has lived with type 2 diabetes for more than ten years, the event touched on many interests she has about nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle habits. A former research nurse, Vaillancourt was also able to understand many of the more complex topics presented, which was helpful in getting the most out of this event.
“I was impressed with the interest and informed passion of the speakers,” she says. “The professionals and the students demonstrate a general desire to improve and contribute to better health for the population. I also observed that several speakers had patient partner participation at heart in the creation of their projects and throughout the entire research process.”
Vaillancourt attended presentations about the Laval University PULSAR project, which is a collaborative research platform with an intervention component in the area of sustainable health. This talk also included information about Nutri Québec, a social project on the lifestyle of Quebecers. This study asks participants to provide their dietary information for study in return for a dietary evaluation at the end of the project. Vaillancourt was very interested in this particular program and plans to enroll and ask family members to also take part.
Another presentation on the patient-oriented research strategy discussed the primary aim of “the patient first.” There are currently 11 support units for SPOR across Canada and one in Quebec. Being able to involve patients in a research process from the start of the protocol is the basis of their strategy. The presentation also included information on how the program is promoting safe treatment of diabetes in the elderly and how access to patient data through electronic medical records (EMR) is an asset for clinical practice
Vaillancourt also saw Diabetes Action Canada Co-Scientific Lead, Dr. Jean-Pierre Després speak about promoting cardiovascular health in the workplace. The talk included a lot of information about overall heart health in Canada, focusing on the idea that it is better to be in good shape than to lose weight, which was positively received.
For future events, Vaillancourt would like to see presentations by patient partners. “An experienced patient partner who has participated in the development of a research project with clinicians or researchers could talk about their experience and stimulate others to integrate patient partners into their teams,” she says, suggesting that a joint presentation with a researcher and patient partner would work well in this setting. In addition, she would have liked to see other health professionals, such as kinesiologists, psychologists, social workers and others who work in a clinical or research setting represented. Overall, she was very pleased with the event and all that she learned.
Read Vaillancourt’s full report on this event in English or French