Translating health research into action in Cape Breton

Cape Breton University and Nova Scotia Health’s Eastern Zone are working together to turn academic research into action. Two members of CBU’s nursing faculty and leaders from Nova Scotia Health’s regional care team are joining forces to identify and implement interventions to treat pressure injuries.

CBU faculty researchers Dr. Corrine McIsaac and Dr. Janet Kuhnke have been studying the incidence of pressure injuries throughout their nursing and academic careers. More commonly known as bedsores, pressure injuries are caused by constant and unrelieved pressure that damages the skin and underlying tissue due to lack of mobility and blood circulation.

“It’s a major health concern that 26 percent of people in hospitals and long-term institutions across Canada experience pressure injuries,” says Dr. McIsaac, principal investigator for the project. “Here in Cape Breton, with an aging population, the numbers are consistently above the national average, presenting a key issue affecting the health of our community.” She explains that people with pressure injuries might experience not only physical discomfort and pain but also suffer from social isolation or depression.

Debbie Lelievre, Director of Quality Improvement and Safety for Nova Scotia Health’s Eastern Zone, says the research will have measurable impacts on health outcomes for people in Cape Breton and supports patient-centred care.

“We are excited to work with CBU on research that informs clinical innovations,” says Lelievre. “This project provides an amazing opportunity for CBU and Nova Scotia Health to work together to analyze the barriers and opportunities to implement best practices for wound prevention and care.”

In their dual roles as researchers and educators, Dr. McIsaac and Dr. Kuhnke have engaged three CBU senior nursing students in the project. “We’re building an appreciation for the importance of research in nursing practice and the value of partnerships”, says Dr. Kuhnke. “Being part of this research team is fostering a culture of collaboration that is so important for students to recognize as they embark on careers in health care.”

The project is supported by a grant from the QEII Foundation’s Translating Research into Care (TRIC) funding program.


Learn more about this and other research collaborations between Cape Breton University and Nova Scotia Health at the virtual Health Research Conference at CBU, October 21 & 22, 2021.

Register here