We are pleased to share outcomes from the CRISM Atlantic 2023 Research Development Program. Congratulations to the following five successful submissions!

ABC: Attentional Bias in Cannabis Users

Principal Applicant: Dr. Bilikis Banire, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University;

Dr. Sandra Meier, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University;
Dr. Sherry Stewart, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University;
Nicholas Murray, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University;
Dr. Rita Orji, Department of Computer Science, Dalhousie University

This study will assess attentional biases towards cannabis and emotional stimuli in regular cannabis users using the methodology of eye-tracking while simultaneously taking comorbid anxiety and mood disorder symptoms into account. Through the study, we can provide clinically meaningful insights into automatic cognitive processes potentially associated with relapse in cannabis use disorder, the role of comorbidities, and the potential treatment implications for targeting attentional biases.

Exploring Geographical Variations in Healthcare Utilization Rates for Concurrent Disorders in Nova Scotia: A Spatial-Temporal Analysis Using Administrative Health Data

Principal Applicant: Dr. Cindy Feng, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University

Co-Applicant: Dr. Mark Asbridge, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University

This study aims to explore the spatial-temporal distribution of concurrent disorders in Nova Scotia and evaluate methods for case definition of healthcare utilization rates. Findings may improve access and availability of healthcare services for individuals with concurrent disorders and inform evidence-based interventions to improve outcomes.

Improving Child and Adolescent Inpatient Mental Healthcare through a Study of Lived Experience

Principal Applicant: Nicole Peters-Vuozzo, Health PEI, Mental Health and Addictions

Co-Applicants :
Dr. Jaqueline Goodwin, Health PEI, Mental Health and Addictions
Dr. Jo-Ann Birt, Health PEI, Mental Health and Addictions

This study is looking to gather the important experiential knowledge of adolescent patients and their caregivers to gain a better understanding of concurrent disorders and substance use interventions. This information will be used to inform and guide the design of a new acute care unit to ensure it is developmentally appropriate and responsive to the needs of adolescents and families.

Is Socioeconomic Status (SES) Associated With Increased Cannabis Use In Patients With Mental Health Disorders?

Principal Applicant: Dr. Candice Crocker, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University

Co-Applicant: Dr. Phil Tibbo, Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University

The study will help better understand the possible relationship between SES and the use of cannabis and/or development of a cannabis use disorder in the population of people (target population: youth-young adolescents) with mental health disorders. Included in this study will be an examination of the correlation of socioeconomic adversity and trauma, with severity or frequency of cannabis use in early psychosis. Findings will be used to inform future interventions for youth.

Lived and Living Experiences of Substance Use and Mental Health Issues Among Formerly Incarcerated Persons in Nova Scotia

Principal Applicant: Laura Beach, PhD Candidate, University of Toronto and Coordinator, East Coast Prison Justice Society Visiting Committee

Dr. Leah Genge, Department of Family Medicine, Dalhousie University;
Becky Marval, OT. Reg. (N.S.), Mobile Outreach Street Health and Dalhousie School of Occupational Therapy

This project will focus on gathering preliminary data, using semi-structured interviews and focus groups, on the challenges of the lived and living experience of formerly incarcerated substance users with mental health issues, as they cycle in and out of correctional facilities. The findings will be used to develop a new research proposal, as well as provide input to inform changes in policy and service provision.

Please watch for updates on the 2024 CRISM Atlantic Research Development Program call.