For my doctoral research, we’re co-designing with families and nurses, a prototype of a smartphone app for coordinating nurse-provided respite care services to families coping with palliative-stage cancer. The initial idea for this project was seeded several years ago, based on my experiences as a family caregiver, homecare worker, and tech tutor. With the support of my advisors and committee, the project has been refined and re-imagined into the current iRespite Services iRépit research program.
Team: Our research team, based in Montreal, includes: Principal Investigator Argerie Tsimicalis, PhD RN, and PhD co-supervisor Antonia Arnaert, PhD RN; cancer mHealth expert and Opal platform co-developer John Kildea, PhD; Canada Research Chair in Inclusive Social Computing computer scientist Karyn Moffatt, PhD; Jewish General Hospital nursing and palliative care clinician scientist Bessy Bitzas, RN PhD; and the Palliative Home-Care Society of Greater Montreal nurse manager Audrey-Jane Hall, BScN RN.
Additionally, we have hired several undergraduate and graduate students to support this research program, including: Gabrielle Lalonde-LeBlond, Joche Londoño Velez, Justine Tremblay, Tracy Nghiem, RN, MSc(A), NP Student, and Ariana Pagnotta, RN, BScN. Trainees are synthesizing varying sources of knowledge to inform the app. These projects include an environmental scan of available respite care services in Québec, and an in depth-search of the Apple and Android app stores for existing respite care apps.
Funding: The iRespite Services iRépit research program was funded with generous support from the Rossy Cancer Network Cancer Care Quality and Innovation program.
Argerie Tsimicalis is supported by a Chercheur-Boursier Junior 1 from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Santé (Québec Medical Research Council).
Aimee Castro is a Canadian Nurses Foundation scholar (2020). She is supported by a Fonds de Recherche du Québec-Santé Formation de Doctorat (doctoral research award), a graduate student award from the Newfoundland & Labrador Registered Nurses’ Education & Research Trust, and a 2020 studentship funded by the Canadian Center for Applied Research in Cancer Control (ARCC). ARCC receives core funding from the Canadian Cancer Society (Grant 2015-703549).