Research Activities

Why We Do Research

The SOGC’s mission on is to promote excellence in the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology and to advance the health of women. We believe that the practice of obstetrics and gynaecology must be based on the best scientific evidence available, and that women should have the knowledge they need to make informed choices about their health. The SOGC is uniquely positioned to identify gaps in knowledge of both health care providers and the public, as well as to build on opportunities to improve practice. 

Drawing on the expertise of our members, we engage in a variety of research activities that allow us to contribute to the body of knowledge surrounding women’s health. The SOGC collaborates with perinatal care providers, researchers, educators, and policy makers to ensure that the development of programs and educational opportunities meet the needs of our members and the wider women’s health community.

Ongoing Research Projects

Projects Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada or Health Canada:

Pot, Pills and Women: Equipping Canada's Women's Health Care Providers to Care for their Patients in the Era of the Opioid Crisis and Cannabis Legalization 

Timeline: December 2018 - March 2022
Description:
Substance use can affect all stages of the female reproductive continuum, from pre-conception to menopause.  In addition to various physiological and psychological effects, women use substances for different reasons at different times in their lives. The overall goals of this project are to determine the current Canadian landscape related to cannabis and opioid use; knowledge, beliefs, attitudes and practices of women’s healthcare providers related to cannabis and opioid use by women across the lifespan, including during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause; and to develop focussed programs and resources that will improve screening, support and management for this specific population.
Funded by: Health Canada
Partners:
Canadian Association of Midwives, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses, Canadian Centre on Substance Use, Centre of Excellence of Women’s Health

Lyme-Aid: Helping Pregnant Women and Their Health Care Providers Prevent Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases During Pregnancy

Timeline: November 2018 - March 2021
Description: The rising public health concern posed by climate driven zoonotic, food borne and water-borne infections, including Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases, is significant. Women of reproductive age who are planning a pregnancy or who are pregnant may be at increased risk of infection and complications for their baby. Throughout this project, the SOGC will review current evidence on the effect of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases on pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes, determine healthcare providers’ current knowledge and practices related to prevention and treatment, and create and disseminate resources for women and their healthcare providers with the aim of preventing exposure.
Funded by: Public Health Agency of Canada
Partners: Canadian Association of Midwives, Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses

Improving Immunization Rates among Pregnant Women in Canada: Working with Care Providers and the Public

Timeline: January 2017 - March 2020
Description: This project aims to improve Canada’s ability to identify under- and unimmunized Canadians by recognizing the barriers and knowledge gaps reported by women of reproductive age (especially pregnant women) and their antenatal healthcare providers; and to develop a focused program that will improve vaccine access and uptake among this specific population. This knowledge will be used to inform novel tools, resources and educational programs for clinicians, allied healthcare providers and women.  Importantly, this project will provide information and data about vaccine coverage rates in Canada among pregnant women and the factors that influence their decisions, which can then be used to support the development of targeted programs that meet the needs and concerns of pregnant women and their antenatal healthcare providers.
Funded by: Public Health Agency of Canada
Partners: Canadian Association of Midwives, Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Immunization Research Network,  L'Association des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Québec 


Using Screening, Training and Data to address Women’s Alcohol Use during Pregnancy

Timeline: January 2017 – March 2021
Description: Healthcare and service providers are the first access point to provide women at risk of consuming alcohol during pregnancy with appropriate services, counselling and support. By providing them with the tools to recognize these women, they may be able to intervene at the earliest point in pregnancy to prevent further damage to the developing fetus. This project aims to inform novel tools, resources and educational programs for clinicians, allied healthcare providers and women using data obtained through two national surveys.
Funded by: Public Health Agency of Canada
Partners: l'Association des obstétriciens et gynécologues du Québec, Canadian Association of Midwives, Canadian Association of Perinatal and Women’s Health Nurses, Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network, Canadian Pharmacists Association, Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, College of Family Physicians of Canada, MotherCraft/Breaking the Cycle

The SOGC applies this innovative model of needs assessment, education and tools/resources to their research projects: 


Additional Projects

The SOGC supports a variety of other research projects and initiatives:

SPOR Evidence Alliance

The SPOR Evidence Alliance is a Canada-wide alliance of researchers, research trainees, patients, healthcare providers, policy makers and organizations who use research to inform decisions.  The alliance was established to provide national-level support in knowledge synthesis, clinical practice guidelines development, knowledge translation, and patient-oriented research. It provides evidence-based answers to clinicians, patients, and policy makers to make sure high-quality information is available to inform decisions.

The SPOR Evidence Alliance is made possible by a five-year grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) under Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Initiative, and the generosity of partners from 41 public agencies and organizations across Canada, including the SOGC, who have contributed to it in many ways. Visit https://sporevidencealliance.ca to learn more.


Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance

The SOGC belongs to the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Alliance, which is a network of experts and stakeholders that develops and disseminates evidence-informed strategies to transform clinical practice and enhance collaborative action and policy on women’s cardiovascular health in Canada. The Alliance is powered by the Canadian Women's Heart Health Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, and its vision is to improve women’s cardiovascular health across the lifespan. Visit https://cwhhc.ottawaheart.ca/national-alliance/about-us to learn more.


CIHR Team Grant: Clinician-Investigator Teams in Obstetrics & Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Clinicians who regularly interact with patients are uniquely positioned to lead research on topics that are highly relevant to patients in terms of scientific discovery, clinical care, service delivery and population health. However, there is a huge opportunity cost and disincentive for clinicians to do research related to obstetrics and maternal-fetal health, and very few have access to adequate protected time and resources to do so. Consequently, many early career clinicians who choose to do research rapidly become discouraged, and most of the active researchers in obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine in Canada today are late career. 

CIHR Clinician-Investigator teams offer a different approach to ensure the future of research in this field. By supporting clinicians and allied health professionals to undertake research, this initiative will help cultivate the next generation of Canadian researchers in obstetrics and maternal-fetal medicine to ensure continued research excellence in obstetrics and maternal-fetal health.  

As a knowledge translation and networking partner, the SOGC facilitates networking between research teams and clinical research experts and leads activities that aim to stimulate research, help identify gaps in current clinical practice, provide learning sessions on research-related topics and facilitate the national and global dissemination of information.

Five projects were funded through this initiative:

  • Team #1: Non Communicable Diseases in Obstetrics: Improving Quality of Care and Maternal‐Infant Outcomes through Obstetrical Research Network
  • Team #2: Montreal Emerging Research Team in Maternal Fetal Medicine (MeRe)
  • Team #3: Collaborative Obesity in Pregnancy Research Group: Supporting a Team to Investigate Placental Adaptations to Obesity
  • Team #4: Clinician Scientist Team on Prematurity
  • Team #5: Investigating Contemporary Topics in OB/MFM

Learn more at: http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/50530.html



Resources

The SOGC research projects have resulted in many resources for women and their health care providers, which can be found at www.pregnancyinfo.ca/resources