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The Ontario Health Study recruiting via Women’s College clinics

April 2012

Dr. Sutapa MukherjeeThe Ontario Health Study (OHS) is well on its way to becoming one of the largest health studies ever conducted in North America, with more than 185,000 Ontarians having completed the study’s online questionnaire. The next step – clinic-based recruitment of new participants at Women’s College Hospital – will soon grow the study even more.

“Women’s College Hospital was the first major hospital in Ontario to come aboard as a supporter of the OHS,” says Dr. Sutapa Mukherjee, clinical lead of the OHS, and Women’s College scientist, respirologist and sleep physician. “So naturally, when we were ready to begin clinic-based outreach, we thought of Women’s College.”

Under Dr. Mukherjee’s guidance, Women’s College Hospital has played a critical role in perfecting the OHS model for clinic-based recruitment. In Women’s College Hospital’s Osteoporosis Clinic, volunteers approach patients while they are waiting for their appointments.

With recruitment expanding, OHS volunteers are now working in Women’s College Hospital’s After Cancer Treatment Transition Clinic (ACTT), the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE) Complex Care Clinic and the General Internal Medicine Clinic. Other clinics, including Endocrinology, Cardiology and Respirology, will soon take part.

“By increasing clinic-based recruitment, we’re working to maximize the study’s tremendous potential to improve our understanding of the common complex diseases that affect our lives,” says Mukherjee, who is also an assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Toronto.

Launched 18 months ago, the study is a long-term research initiative that uses online questionnaires to gather de-identified health information, to investigate risk factors that cause diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression and Alzheimer’s. A number of Women’s College scientists and physicians, including Drs. Ophira Ginsburg, Lorraine Lipscombe and Steven Narod, are participating.

Back to Impact April 2012

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