Our Research

Since 2008, our team has studied 800,00 adults with COPD and over 2 million children and adults with asthma in Ontario using routinely collected health administrative data, surveys and census data. Under the leadership of Dr. Andrea Gershon, through the Canadian Respiratory Research (CRRN) and Ontario COPD Population Health Network this was expanded to include air quality data, clinical data through linkages with the population-based Canadian COPD study (CanCOLD) and some structured electronic medical record (EMR) data.

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Quality Care

We study how well people with respiratory disease are being managed and treated to ensure they have the best care and best health possible. Our quality of care work has directly supported COPD programs in hospitals and health districts across Canada.

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Safety and Effectiveness

The safety and effectiveness of long-acting bronchodilators and other respiratory disease medications have contributed valuable new knowledge to the management of COPD and Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome and are cited by high-profile clinical practise guidelines such as those developed by The Medical Letter. This success has contributed to Canada’s status as a world leader in respiratory disease research.

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Burden of Disease

The team's studies on burden of disease has alerted an international audience of decision makers, physicians, researchers and the general public of the impact of lung disease. One notable paper showed that one in four people will be affected by COPD over their lifetime. This work was used by members of provincial parliament to petition the passing of the Lung Health Act, which is a commitment to prevent and improve the care of people with lung disease through the formation of an Ontario Lung Health Advisory Council.

CanBREATHE
Canadian Best Respiratory Research Evaluation and Analyst Team of Health Experts

 Our research team uses data from millions of Canadians to learn more about respiratory disease and how to manage it. 

Our goal is for people with lung disease of all backgrounds to benefit from evidence-based care and research that addresses their unique characteristics, to improve their health and quality of life and reduce strain on our health care system.

Long COVID

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can cause symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, cough and fatigue. Sometimes, these symptoms of COVID-19 last for weeks or months. 

 

Our team, along with researchers across Canada, are studying the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the lungs. The information we learn about the effects of COVID-19 will help patients and health care providers manage it better. We plan to use this new knowledge to write a guide on what respiratory monitoring and testing should be done after COVID-19 infection to help patients get the care they need. 

 

To learn more about our research study on

Long COVID click here:

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To see our Patient Education Fact Sheet on Long COVID click here:

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Select Publications

2021

Factors Associated with Non-Receipt of Recommended COPD Medications: A Population Study

COPD medications can reduce exacerbations (flare-ups) and improve the quality of life for patients. Despite this, some individuals do not receive medications that are recommended by clinical practice guidelines. We sought to see whether this is common in Ontario and which factors are associated with not receiving recommended COPD medications. 

2018

End-of-Life Strategies among Patients with Advanced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

The burden of advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is high globally; however, little is known about how often end-of-life strategies are used by this population. We described trends in the use of end-of-life care strategies by people with advanced COPD in Ontario, Canada.

2019

Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Preventing Hospitalizations in Older Patients With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Annual influenza immunization is recommended for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by all major COPD clinical practice guidelines. We sought to determine the seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) against laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations among older adults with COPD.

2019

Effectiveness and Safety of Inhaled Corticosteroids in Older Individuals with COPD and/or Asthma: A Population Study

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are established medications for the management of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), two common chronic airway diseases. However, there is still uncertainty with respect to their use in some areas, specifically for asthma in older adults, for people with concurrent asthma and COPD and for some people with COPD given their association with pneumonia. We set out to compare the effectiveness and safety of ICS in older adults with asthma, COPD or features of both in a real-word setting.

 
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Dr. Andrea Gershon

Principal Investigator

Dr. Gershon is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded investigator. The focus of her research is respiratory disease health outcomes, health services, quality of care, drug safety and effectiveness, and knowledge translation. Her work aims to optimize care and health outcomes for people living with respiratory disease.

 

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