Patient experience

108 articles
by Maddi Dellplain

Groundbreaking research into ME/CFS a pandemic ‘silver lining’

ME/CFS is a misunderstood complex chronic illness affecting more than 600,000 Canadians. For decades ME/CFS patients have been left without proper medical support. But now, with the wave of new post-viral illnesses from the COVID-19 pandemic, ME/CFS patients might finally see some answers.

by Catharine Chambers Nicole Naimer Maddi Dellplain

The Faces & Phases of COVID-19

The Faces/Phases Project is a portrait of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Through a series of data visualizations, we cover the first two years of the pandemic.

by Bishal Gyawali

Ten health literacy principles cancer patients need to know

A medical oncologist describes ten health literacy principles to help cancer patients be informed participants in important treatment decisions.

by Tara Kiran

Virtual care is here to stay. But what are patients’ expectations?

As we redesign a better primary care system coming out of the pandemic, we need to consider the role of virtual care and what patients will expect.

by Tara Kiran

Take the survey: What are your priorities for primary care?

What trade-offs are acceptable to you? Do you currently have a family doctor or nurse practitioner? How important is it that every person living in Canada has a relationship with a family doctor? These are some of the questions we ask in the OurCare/NosSoins nation-wide survey.

by Maddi Dellplain

Cross-country project gives patients a say in solving primary-care crisis

Dr. Tara Kiran and a team of collaborators are launching OurCare, a three-phase research project that aims to provide much-needed answers to Canada’s primary care woes. The project kicks off with a national survey of patients' experience.

by Darren Cargill

Tapping into the power of hope

Learning about a patient’s hopes can create an opportunity for both special intervention and improve goals of care conversations and assist doctors in crafting a care plan that will optimize the chances of these dreams coming true. The Oneday Dreams charity offers the hope for better quality of life to patients with terminal illness.

by Stephanie Keeling

Stories from the immunocompromised

Now that restrictions are lifted across Canada, discussions with my immunocompromised patients about infection risk are not “one size fits all.”

by Anne Borden King

Giving birth during the blizzard of 2022 – while fighting COVID

Carrie Clayton drove herself though downtown Toronto during January's record-breaking blizzard to give birth to her daughter. To make matters worse - Carrie also had COVID. This is her story.

by Nicole Naimer

Born with a disease that kills but not at death’s door: Living in that in between

As a child with cystic fibrosis, I was hit with this adult issue of mortality – something no 5-year-old should be worrying about. When I was born in 1971, the median survival rate for women with CF was 20 years old. I’ve chased that median age of survival my whole life.

by Nicole Naimer

​​‘You’re in remission’: Professor goes from picking out gravestone to planning retirement

My illness was something that happened to me, but I was still under there. I had to come out from under that shadow to figure out who I wanted to be even if I was going to die in a few months. My life changed significantly when I realized I was in control. I’ve decided I’m going to retire earlier than originally planned so I can scratch things off my bucket list now that it is deeper than before. I know if my cancer returns, I’m going to have a big blowout funeral party and obviously attend it myself.

by Anthea Lai

Hope and spiritual care

Spiritual care can be a powerful therapeutic intervention. However, 80 per cent of patients reported that physicians never or rarely discuss spiritual or religious issues with them. But the role of spiritual health does not have to fall on physicians alone.

by Elena Rusu Lucie Péléja Marc Albert

ADHD in females: Outdated criteria leading to missed diagnoses

I have ADHD, but it took nearly my whole life to receive a proper diagnosis. Unfortunately, I am not alone – females with this condition often go either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, since ADHD diagnostic criteria are male-oriented.

by Jeremy Cygler

Family member’s undiagnosed illness gives physician new patient perspective

When patients have strange, unidentified illnesses, physicians often focus more on finding a diagnosis than managing symptoms. When a close family member struggled with such an illness, I saw the importance of addressing patient suffering earlier on.

by Anne Borden King

‘Focus on the tooth and the person’: The movement for trauma-informed dentistry

People joke that they don't like going to the dentist, but for some, a trip to the dentist can actually trigger past traumas. The trauma-informed dentistry movement is trying to make dentists' offices places where vulnerable patients feel safe.

by Sahil Gupta

Granola bars, gift cards and phone chargers: The little extras nurses carry to get colleagues and patients through tough times

Nurses hold the health-care system together, even as many are suffering from burnout and leaving the profession. In this photo-essay, nurses speak about the little things they carry with them to stay motivated and connect with patients and colleagues.

by Iris Kulbatski

Sorry Not Sorry: How a hospital complaint system perpetuates harm after medical error

When hospitals harm patients, patient-relations departments provide insincere apologies and resort to other tactics to shield hospitals from accountability. I experienced this while coping with medical errors my late dad suffered as a cancer patient.

by Anne Borden King

Secondary losses: The impact of the pandemic on Canadians with cancer

We're only beginning to understand the "secondary losses" of the pandemic. The immediate future of health care will likely be defined by the appearance of illnesses that flourished among the forgotten, patients who were inadvertently neglected.

Restoring dignity: A teenager’s insights into inpatient psychiatric admission

As a 19-year-old with bipolar disorder, I waited eight hours in the ER for a doctor. My brain may not have been bleeding, but I felt like my brain was on fire. Here's what I learned about improving care for patients experiencing a mental health crisis.

by Alexandra Campbell

Advance care planning? Your future self might not thank you

Advance care planning takes for granted that any wishes about my care that I made in advance should guide the treatment I get when I'm incapacitated. But what if they actually shouldn't – because when incapacitated, I'm not the same person?

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