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Participant recruitment is a major challenge in many research studies involving human subjects. Recruitment involves a number of activities, including identifying eligible participants, adequately explaining the study to the potential participants, recruiting an adequate sample based on study goals and design, obtaining informed consent and maintaining ethical standards, and retaining participants until study completion.

Below is a list of current studies requiring volunteers:

Advanced Care Planning for End of Life Care (University of British Columbia)

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are interested in talking to patients with a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease, their caregivers, and healthcare providers, about their views on advanced care planning (ACP) for end-of-life health care decisions. This might include important future decisions related to: medications, treatment, artificial nutrition and hydration, mobility and/or cognition at end of life.

For more information, please view the PDF handout on this study.

Questions about this research study can be forwarded to:
Kim Jameson, PhD Candidate
kim.jameson@ubc.ca or 604.822.5392

Biomedical Technical Research (Simon Fraser University)

STUDY 1
This proposed study is designed to investigate the effect of Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) on the gait (i.e. manner of walking) of individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). GVS is a non-invasive technique that has been used in healthy individuals and individuals with stroke and PD.

The testing protocol will be performed at the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Surrey or Burnaby campus, or City Centre 1 (CC1, Surrey) or during a home visit.

For full details on this study: [download summary]

Contact:
Natasha Victorino | Email: nvictori@sfu.ca
Health Science Manager at MENRVA Research Laboratory
Simon Fraser University

STUDY 2
Tremor is an unintentional and rhythmic shaking movement that is repeated over and over in one or more parts of the body, especially in the hands and head. In this study, the focus is on suppressing elbow tremor via a Wearable Biomechanical Device (WBD). The WBD is a prototype, low risk device, developed in the lab. The WBD consists of an orthosis (brace), covering the upper arm and forearm, which can absorb tremor motions when activated.

For full details on this study and participant requirements: [download summary]

Contact:
Gil Hernstadt | Phone: 778-889-6277 | Email: ghernst@sfu.ca
MASc Candidate at MENRVA Research Laboratory 
Simon Fraser University

Brain Research (Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre)

The Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine is currently recruiting research participants for a number of different studies. For more information or to register for any of the studies listed below, please contact Christy Jones at 604-822-9722. 

Effect of Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) on balance and walking in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 55-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls. 

Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) as a prospective treatment for apathy in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 18-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease (with or without apathy) or healthy controls.

Download the recruitment poster for GVS studies here

Sweat as a biomarker in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 40-70, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls.

EEG biofeedback in Parkinson's disease 
Eligibility: Individuals aged 40-70, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.   

Effect of transcranial alternating current stimulation on tremor in Parkinson's disease
Eligibility: Individuals aged 55-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and with resting tremor. 

Electrical brain stimulation as a prospective treatment for Parkinson's disease 
Eligibility: Individuals aged 18-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls. 

Using smartphone games to assess cognitive changes in Parkinson's disease 
Eligibility: Individuals aged 18-85, diagnosed with Parkinson's disease or healthy controls. 

Caffeine Study in PD (Halifax Dalhousie University)

Parkinson's disease (PD) is diagnosed clinically based on the onset of motor symptoms like bradykinesia, akinesia, tremors and postural instability. Unfortunately, these motor symptoms become apparent when the underlying pathological process is already well underway.

This project is designed towards exploring ways to diagnose PD sooner in people at increased risk for developing it, such as people who have first-degree relatives (i.e., parents or siblings) with PD. Specifically, we are investigating the association between olfaction and caffeine intake, and the risk for developing PD in first-degree relatives of PD patients. Caffeine intake is one of the various environmental and lifestyle risk factors that has been found to be associated with PD.

Participants will be required to fill-out demographic information, and caffeine-intake questionnaires, as well as perform a self-administered smell test. This will be conducted entirely over regular mail (and through initial Email correspondence). Postage will be paid for, and a $10 honorarium is offered to participants who participate in this study.

Requirements:

  • 40-65 years of age
  • In good physical health
  • Have a Canadian postal address
  • Have an Email account

For full details [view pdf]

Interested participants are encouraged to contact Dalhousie University by email [pdadstudy@gmail.com] or telephone 902.473.3147 by August, 2017.

Caregiver Burden (University of British Columbia)

Researchers from the University of British Columbia are looking for volunteers to participate in a study examining caregiver burden and caregiver technologies.

Patient and Family Partners in Research (Providence Health Care)

Providence Health Care is looking for Patient Family Partners (PFP) who have been involved as advisors or team members determining research priorities, to share their experiences. This study will take the shape of a focus group or interview in Vancouver, or a phone or webinar from anywhere in Canada.

The information you provide will be reviewed and a report will be written with recommendations for health care leaders and researchers. This report will hopefully increase inclusion of PFPs on research teams. If you are interested, email Research Assistant, Wilma Chang: wchang@providencehealth.bc.ca or phone 604 806 9313 by May 31, 2016.

For more information, please download the informational flyer.

PD and Research of the Gut and Nose

Parkinson's disease and the microbiome of the gut and nose

A new research interest of Pacific Parkinson's Research Centre (PPRC)

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are recruiting patients with typical PD and healthy controls, between the ages of 40-80, who are interested in participating in research in Parkinson's disease and the microbiome

Recent evidence suggests that a connection exists between the gut and the brain, and that certain conditions in the gut might be associated with neurological functioning and disease. Research suggests that people with Parkinson's differ from healthy controls with respect to the bacteria present in their gut (the gut microbiome), but further research is required to better understand the associations between the microbiome and Parkinson's disease.

Participation involves one study visit (2 hours) at the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at University of British Columbia.

If you would like more information or you would like to participate in this study, please contact Kristen Sundvick (Research Coordinator) at 604-822-3177 for further information.

Walking Aid Focus Group (BCIT)

Researchers at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) are conducting a study to get feedback on a novel walking aid. The information gathered in the focus group will be used to investigate the feasibility of the device and inform future revisions of the design.

To be eligible for this study, you must:

  • have a limitation that affects your ability to walk or stand.
  • have pain, fatigue, discomfort, OR a medical condition such as Fibromyalgia, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Scleroderma, back or joint problems or other medical condition that affects your ability to walk or stand for a period of time.
  • currently use a cane, crutches, or a walker or have considered using assistive technology to help with your mobility or standing.
  • be able to walk 15 metres without the assistance of another person.
  • live independently in the community or in an Independent Living facility.
  • be able to effectively communicate in English.

If you are eligible and choose to participate, you will be required to attend a 90-minute session in which you will be asked to contribute to a focus group discussion related to mobility devices. You will be shown a demonstration of an existing device and invited to try it. The session will be held at the Centre for Applied Research and Innovation at the BCIT Burnaby Campus, located at 4355 Mathissi Place in Burnaby.

All enrolled persons will be paid $75 for their participation.

To learn more about this research or to sign up for the focus group, please contact:
Angie Wong
British Columbia Institute of Technology
Tel: 604.451.6934 | Email: angie_wong@bcit.ca