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CFDR Announces Funding for Ten Research Projects
  • This month the Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research (CFDR) approved funding of $176,000 for ten projects under its 2015 Annual Grants Competition—a record for the foundation.

    In making the grants announcement Laurie Curry, RD, MS, MBA, Chair of the CFDR Board of Directors, said: “Our Scientific Review Committee was thrilled to receive a wealth of high-quality proposals this year spanning a number of important topics and themes in the field of dietetic practice. The approved grants will further our mission of advancing nutrition through continued enhancement of the base of knowledge available to dietitians.”

    The ten research projects are:

    Nutriathlon family: evaluation of a clinical intervention strategy to promote the adoption and maintenance of healthy eating habits in the family.
    Vicky Drapeau, Ph.D, Dt.P , Laval University, Quebec
    This research aims to assess a family-based nutrition intervention for overweight kids (8-16 years old) based on promoting healthy eating habits for the whole family.  The study will contribute to research regarding the important role of parents in ensuring healthy eating habits of their kids and their families.   
    Evaluation of dietitians’ knowledge, perceptions, barriers and practices regarding food insecurity assessment, counseling and support in health settings.
    Anna Farmer, Ph.D, MPH, RD, University of Alberta
    The overall purpose of the study is to understand the current knowledge and practices of registered dietitians (RD) in the identification/assessment, counseling and support of food insecurity in different practice areas in an effort to best identify their education and training needs at different stages of education and professional development. This research hopes to develop online surveys- Dietitians’ Perceptions & Practices of Food Insecurity in Health Setting (DPPFI) to evaluate the validity and reliability of the online surveys and to administer the surveys to assess dietitians’ knowledge, perceptions, barriers and practices.
    Validation of the Fenton preterm infant 2013 growth chart.
    Tanis Fenton RD, Ph.D, FDC, Alberta Health Services
    The purpose of this study is to compare the growth (weight, length and head circumference) of recently born early preterm infants (<32 weeks gestation at birth) to the Fenton 2013 Preterm Growth Charts (developed by a Canadian Dietitian). This work will provide practitioners with knowledge of growth patterns of contemporary preterm infants with the evolving changes of nutrition and medical practices in the NICUs, and will help to identify how important that growth is for development outcomes.
    Dietitian insights on taste and smell alterations among hemodialysis patients; the first step to modification of an assessment tool.
    Catherine Field, Ph.D, RD, University of Alberta and Stephanie Ramage, M.Sc. RD, University of Alberta
    This research hopes to adapt the “Taste and Smell Dysfunction in Cancer Patients Questionnaire” as a practice tool for Registered Dietitians (RDs) to use in the Hemodialysis (HD) population.  This study will lead to the creation of a Hemodialysis Taste and Smell Alteration (TSA) Questionnaire which could be used by dietitians as a practice-based tool to assess the presence and severity of TSAs in the HD population as well as help prioritize patients for dietetic counselling based on the severity of their TSAs.
    Evaluation of dietary intervention and pregnancy outcomes among food insecure women attending the Montreal Diet Dispensary Program.
    Veronique Menard RD, MSc., McGill University
    In Canada low income was experienced by 8.8 per cent of the population in 2011. While the rate of low income is ~9 per cent overall, the female population are at higher risk. Many of these women may not have resources to afford food, shelter and other necessities and may experience health inequities that impact themselves and/or their families, especially during pregnancy. The Higgins’ method of dietary counselling and provision of food and supplements are cornerstones of this program in the prevention of pregnancy complications. This research aims to conduct an outcome evaluation of the Higgins’ intervention in a population of low-income, predominantly visible minority and newly immigrated women to Canada.
    Advancing Healthy Development in Early Years Centers on PEI: Evaluation of Healthy Eating Guidelines.
    Misty Rossiter Ph.D, RD, University of PEI
    The purpose of this research is to evaluate the Healthy Eating Guidelines for Early Years Centres on PEI. The research will examine the impact of the support structure on the implementation of the Healthy Eating Guidelines for Early Years Centers. Introducing guidelines around the provision of foods for young children and adhering to the policy can be a challenging transition. This novel opportunity has the ability to inform best practices around implementation and adherence to nutrition policies for preschool children on PEI.
    Efficacy of Nutrition Risk Screening with NutriSTEP® in Pre-schoolers.
    Janis Randall Simpson Ph.D, RD, FDC, University of Guelph
    The specific objective is to assess the efficacy of nutrition risk screening with the preschool version of NutriSTEP® (using the Nutri-eSTEP online tool) in preschoolers. A further objective is to gather information on the uptake and usefulness of the nutrition education and resources provided as part of the screening process. This will be the first efficacy trial of nutrition risk screening with NutriSTEP®. The results of this efficacy study have the potential to provide evidence for the utility of nutrition risk screening and will set the stage for a future effectiveness trial.
    Association of biochemical vitamin D status and severity of influenza in children.
    Dat Tran, MD, MSc, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
    Yearly influenza epidemics are estimated to affect 5–15 per cent of the world’s population. The genetic make-up of an individual’s immune system, environmental exposures such as tobacco smoke, and imbalances in micronutrient levels may also explain why some get sicker than others with influenza infection. This research is being done to increase understanding of who gets severe influenza by looking at whether the persons’ level of vitamin correlates with disease severity. The findings from this study may help doctors and public health agencies to better use resources in preventing severe illness in the most vulnerable children.
    Online Education for Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet Teaching.
    Laura Vresk M.Sc, RD, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
    Celiac Disease (CD) is the most common genetically based food intolerance and treatment involves lifelong adherence to a strict Gluten-Free Diet (GFD). This research aims to determine if an online learning module can be used to educate pediatric patients and their families on the GFD as treatment for CD. E learning has the potential to enhance dietetic practice as it permits users to access resources remotely and provides enhanced capability for asynchronous access to information on-demand. Additionally, use of online nutrition education would improve the cost-effectiveness of CD-related nutritional services.
    Nutrition care best practices for residents with dementia in long-term care homes: perspectives of care aides.
    Susan Whiting, Ph.D and Allison Cammer, M.Sc, RD, University of Saskatchewan
    The purpose of this research project is to develop an in-depth understanding of nutrition care for residents with dementia in long-term care homes (LTC) from the perspective of care aides in order to better inform policy and practice recommendations and tailor education and training initiatives led by registered dietitians in LTC. Findings from this research will enable RDs to effectively intervene by designing system-wide nutrition care policies and practices that enhance quality, resident-centered nutrition care.

    The Canadian Foundation for Dietetic Research was created in 1991 by Dietitians of Canada to support applied nutrition and dietetic practice research. Thanks to the generous support of corporate donors and individual members of Dietitians of Canada, in its history CFDR has funded more than 125 research teams across the country, awarding more than $1,775,000 in grants. The CFDR research program supports the Foundation’s mission: Enhancing the health of Canadians by contributing new knowledge about food and nutrition.

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