Smita Pakhale profile picture

Contact Information

Smita Pakhale, MD, FRCPC, MsC (Epi & Biostat)
613-737-8899 ex.79469
spakhale@ohri.ca

Research Activities

Dr. Pakhale currently holds active operating grants from the Champlain LHIN, Ontario Lung Association and the department of Medicine as Principal Investigator. Dr. Pakhale is leading a community research office located in the heart of downtown Ottawa to conduct Community-Based Participatory Action Research projects in partnership with the inner city population. Dr. Pakhale has established the first ‘Severe Asthma Clinic’ for the Ottawa-Gatineau region. Dr. Pakhale also leads a hospital based ‘The Ottawa Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Knowledge and Adherence Program’. In addition, Dr. Pakhale is co-Investigator of the Canadian Respiratory Research Network, a CIHR Emerging Network that is co-funded by CIHR, The Canadian Lung Association, and industry partners ($8 million in funding from 2013-2018).

Current Activities:
Dr. Pakhale's team is currently conducting a Community-Based Participatory Action Research focused on tobacco dependence in the inner city population of Ottawa, Canada. We are working in close partnership with multi-drug user, insecurely housed and homeless individuals from inner city Ottawa where these peers with lived experience are actively involved in the research process from concept, design, and implementation to knowledge translation.

Tobacco use rate in Canada is 18%, though Ottawa boasts the lowest rate at 12%, our inner city population has tobacco use rate of 96% according to our recently completed PROUD Study (Participatory Research in Ottawa: Understanding Drugs: The PROUD Study [Pakhale-co-I]). High profile illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis-C though generated impetus for our PROUD study; tobacco has a bigger impact on morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs in this population.
We are currently analyzing the PROUD data to explore tobacco dependence related inequity in this population.
Previous Accomplishments:
Dr. Pakhale is an active member of the Tobacco Action Committee of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) since 2011 (Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes-Annals of ATS 2013). Our committee recently completed working on a Research Statement on tobacco research which is available online at the www.thoracic.org and the executive summary will be published in the Annals of ATS. This comprehensive statement will serve as a guide to researchers, policy makers and public to promote much needed tobacco research.

Dr. Pakhale has published several landmark research studies on bronchial asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF) and lung transplantation:

• The first study to identify a novel long term complication of lung transplantation, upper lobe fibrosis, which later came to be known as ‘Restrictive Allograft Syndrome (RAS)’ published in AJR 2004 and JHLT 2005.
• A prevalence of bronchial asthma study in grade 7- and 8th students from rural India (J of Asthma 2008). This study, for the first time, found that the prevalence of asthma and wheeze in a rural region in India was similar to that found in the urban studies.
• The first paper describing that stigma is associated with cystic fibrosis (BMC Pul Med 2014)
• Cost effectiveness analysis of the multicenter Canadian study on over-diagnosis of asthma revealing that algorithmic approach to proper diagnosis of asthma, even after many years, is still cost effective. This study demonstrated that, cost savings primarily resulted from lifetime costs of medication use averted in those who had been misdiagnosed with asthma. (BMC Pul Med 2011)
• A study describing asthma-obesity interaction, described that obese people with asthma have lower lung function and more comorbidities compared with normal-weight people with asthma. More importantly, obese individuals who make urgent visits for respiratory symptoms are more likely to receive a misdiagnosis of asthma. (Chest 2010)
• The first study to describe weigh loss leading to improvement in asthma severity demonstrated by improvement in methacholine challenge test in obese asthmatics (Chest 2015)
• The first pilot randomized study in tertiary care out-patient respirology clinic using the Ottawa Model of Smoking Cessation with subsidized nicotine replacement therapy leading to improved quit rates in patients with moderate to severe lung diseases such as COPD, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis etc. (CRJ 2015)
• Designed, developed and published well validated quality of life scales:
• McGill COPD Quality of Life Scale (COPD J 2011 and CRJ 2012)
• CF Knowledge Scale (Respirology 2014)
• CF Stigma Scale (BMC Pul Med 2014)

Related research exploring the importance of physical exercise in bronchial asthma (BMC Pul Med 2013), comprehensive review of severe asthma (CMCRPM 2011), comparison of per cent predicted and percentile methods in the interpretation of pulmonary function tests (CRJ 2009) and non-invasive diagnosis of stage-I sarcoidosis (SVDLD 2006).