The Research Working Group (RWG)

This group of volunteers across Canada have been working hard on several initiatives

Highlighting Canadian research – The CLF’s second repository of Canadian research was conducted – sampling recent publications and projects highlighting Canadian research in basic science, epidemiology, rehabilitation, surgery, and the social and nursing sciences. Their report was published in Pathways Winter 2015 and can be accessed here.

From time to time, the CLF website will also profile Canadian researchers and their work by featuring a different individual each time. Our first featured researcher is Dr. Miles Johnston, who recently retired but devoted forty years to the field of lymphatic circulation. You can read a tribute to Miles Johnston by Dr. John Semple that was published in Pathways Spring 2015.

Conference Planning – the RWG plays an important role in the planning of the national lymphedema conferences. The most recent conference occurred in Calgary in 2015 with a record number of 31 abstracts accepted for presentation. Members of the RWG sit on the Conference Scientific Committee, which is responsible for the abstract submission process. This includes establishing the rating criteria, disseminating the submissions to the scientific committee for review, consolidating the submissions and leading the selection of winners for the conference poster competition. The CLF encourages experienced and new presenters to submit their case studies, research work and clinical experiences in order to share their knowledge with other health professionals across Canada. The next conference is planned for 2017, details on abstract submission TBA.

Establishing a Research Agenda – using the Delphi technique, a sub-committee aimed to reach a consensus on lymphedema research topics. This committee drafted an initial list of priority research questions, based on the national, lymphedema stakeholders meeting held in 2009 (published in Current Oncology). The sub-committee consists of:

  • Cathy McPherson, Manager/Administrator of the Lymphovenous Canada website
  • Bev Lanning, RN, Lymphedema Registered Nurse
  • Pamela Hodgson, MSc, Research Associate, McGill University Health Centre
  • Anna Towers, MD, Director, Lymphedema Support Centre of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation, McGill University Health Centre
  • Roanne Thomas, PhD, Professor/Canada Research Chair, University of Ottawa

Respondents were chosen who would represent a variety of perspectives, including researchers, patients, advocates, and health professionals. Respondents were also chosen for national representation and to achieve a reasonable response rate, allowing for attrition. The list was refined and edited via teleconference by the sub-committee. A survey was then drafted, circulated for feedback, revised, and sent via email to the identified, potential respondents. The final results and top priorities identified were published in Pathways Summer 2015.