Jamie Brehaut profile picture

Contact Information

Jamie Brehaut, PhD
613-737-8899 ext. 73820

Research Coordinator
Kelly Carroll
(613) 737-8899 ext. 73824

Research Activities

The primary areas of my research include: 1) Applying psychological theory to problems in healthcare knowledge translation and implementation; 2) Improving the process of informed consent through application of principles from cognitive psychology and shared decision making, and 3) Understanding and modeling factors related to the health of parents of children with health problems. As of Sept. 2014 my publications have been cited over 2100 times.

I am currently heading a project focused on developing theory underlying the provision of performance feedback to healthcare providers as a tool to improve care. This work has resulted in a conceptual paper outlining a new approach to theory development for knowledge translation, a systematic review that examined the role of specific theories and individual theory-consistent constructs within the A&F literature, and will continue with a detailed study of the input from theoreticians around the world  to improve this important health care intervention. This work is being used to design better health care interventions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Since 2007 I have headed up a research team focused on understanding whether psychological theory, patient decision aids and shared decision making principles can serve as a new model for informed consent for clinical research. We have developed a reliable methodology for assessing informed consent documents in light of standards of good quality decision making, and developed an informed consent decision aid that meets these standards. We published one of the first commentaries outlining in detail the potential of the decision aid model to improve informed consent, and a description of how the decision aid model can be made consistent with the regulatory requirements. We demonstrated that existing informed consent documents do not do a good job of meeting the basic standards known to help lead to good decision making. More importantly, knowledge generated is already being put into action. It provided a structure for a published Cochrane review protocol on the topic, and has led to collaborations with investigators in the US, UK, and Australia around clinical and research-focused consent issues. It produced a methodology for evaluating the contents and quality of informed consent documents, which has been adopted by other research groups. It has motivated and informed specific changes to the Consent Guidance and templates that set the standard for all informed consent documents submitted to the Ottawa Health Science Network Research Ethics Board. We are currently conducting an extension of this work exploring the extent to which this new approach can help with the particular challenges of enrolling critically ill patients into intensive care clinical trials via surrogate informed consent.

Since 2004 I have led a team of researchers focused on understanding the factors affecting the health of caregivers of children with chronic health problems from an epidemiological perspective. This work has studied the health of caregivers of children with and without disabilities, using national, population- based samples. Another project has led to important methodological work detailing methods to identify children with health problems through the use of national survey-based data, estimates of the extent of health effects for caregivers of children with health problems (broadly defined), after controlling for known covariates, an analysis of changes in caregiver health effects over a 10-year period using growth curve modeling, an explicit test of our conceptual model of direct and indirect factors contributing to caregiver psychological and physical health, and a study looking at caregiver health effects associated with the particular challenges of caring for children with neurodevelopmental disorders and behaviour problems. In 2010, we convened a National Roundtable on the Health of Families of Children with Disabilities, in which 50 parents, researchers, federal/provincial ministry officials, and advocates met to identify the needs and priorities of this vulnerable group. More recently, we are developing and evaluating approaches to address these issues using health administrative data.