Patients + Research: Francine Mault

Patients + Research is a platform for patients to discuss their relationship and experience with the research that leads to new cures, cares and treatments.

Patients + Research: Francine Mault

(French version follows)

Involving patient partners in research

At Montfort, patient partners are involved in research to improve training for the next generation of healthcare professionals.

Simulation-based learning offers many benefits. Health professionals, medical students, residents and members of other health professions can use it to expand their knowledge through clinical immersion, the use of medical robots, virtual reality or large-scale simulation. How can this learning model be made even more effective and realistic for participants?

Michelle Lalonde is an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Nursing and a researcher with the Institut du Savoir Montfort (ISM), a knowledge institute affiliated with Montfort, Ontario’s francophone academic hospital. Professor Lalonde recently added a new component under a research project on simulation-based learning for student nurse training: the patient partner.

As lead investigator for this project, she wanted to see whether incorporating a patient partner into a team that already included medical students and health care professionals would have any impact on the learning process of student nurses.

Francine Mault, patient partner at Montfort since 2015, took part in a simulation session.

“I was asked to get involved in a project to assist nurses who are in training in the Montfort simulation lab,” explained Ms. Mault. “The lab delivers practical training to simulate real-life situations. I think my contribution has enabled the research arm of the ISM knowledge institute to improve the way that the next generation of healthcare professionals is trained.”

The results show that students appreciated the realism created by the participation of the patient partner and health professionals.

“The important thing is that this training is based on input from people like me, who have had the experience of being a patient,” added Ms. Mault.

Engager les patients partenaires dans la recherche

À Montfort, les patients partenaires participent à de la recherche en vue d’améliorer la formation de la prochaine génération de professionnels de la santé.

L’apprentissage par simulation offre de nombreux avantages. Les professionnels de la santé, ainsi que les étudiants et les résidents en médecine et d’autres professions du domaine de la santé, peuvent y perfectionner leurs connaissances grâce à l’immersion clinique, l’utilisation d’androïdes, la réalité virtuelle ou la simulation à grande échelle. Comment rendre ce modèle d’apprentissage encore plus efficace et réaliste pour les participants?

Mme Michelle Lalonde est professeure adjointe à l’École des sciences infirmières de l’Université d’Ottawa et chercheuse à l’Institut du Savoir Montfort, un institut hospitalier rattaché à Montfort, l’hôpital universitaire francophone de l’Ontario. Dans le cadre d’un projet de recherche sur l’apprentissage par simulation pour la formation des étudiants en sciences infirmières, Professeure Lalonde a ajouté une nouvelle composante : un patient partenaire.

La chercheuse principale pour ce projet voulait voir si l’intégration d’un patient partenaire dans une équipe regroupant déjà des étudiants et des professionnels de la santé aurait un effet sur l’apprentissage des étudiants en sciences infirmières.

Mme Francine Mault, patiente partenaire à Montfort depuis 2015, a participé à une séance de simulation.

« On m’a demandé de m’impliquer dans un projet pour assister des infirmières qui sont en formation dans le laboratoire de simulation de l’Hôpital Montfort », explique Mme Mault. « Dans ce laboratoire, on donne des formations pratiques comme si c’était la réalité. Je pense que ma contribution a permis à l’Institut du Savoir Montfort – Recherche d’améliorer la façon dont on formera la prochaine génération des professionnels de la santé. »

Les résultats ont démontré que les étudiants ont apprécié le réalisme offert par la participation du patient partenaire et les professionnels de la santé.

« Ce qui est important, c’est que cette formation s’appuie sur des témoignages de personnes comme moi, qui ont vécu l’expérience d’être patient », ajoute Mme Mault.


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Add Your Voice

Want to add your voice to the Patients + Research blog series? Email or call Elise Bradt at, 416-205-1469, or direct message or tweet at us on Twitter at @CAHOhospitals.

Read more Patients + Research posts and share your own insights on Twitter with the hashtag #onHWS. To learn more about how health research makes Ontario healthier, wealthier and smarter, visit our impact page, and check out our other blog posts and videos.

Health and Community Leaders Talk: Sheila MacDonald

Ontario's health research hospitals make our province healthier, wealthier, and smarter

Health and Community Leaders Talk: Sheila MacDonald

By Sheila MacDonald, Clinical Manager of the Women’s College Hospital Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC) and Provincial Coordinator of the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care and Treatment Centres (SADVTC)

How does research inform the work you do across Ontario and at the Women’s College Hospital (WCH) Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre (SA/DVCC)?

In my role as provincial coordinator, I collaborate with the 35 hospital-based sexual assault treatment centres across the province. We partnered with the Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) many years ago because we wanted to make sure that the work we were doing was evidence-based.

Dr. Janice Du Mont, a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute has provided the leadership in our research initiatives, which has ensured data quality and integrity. In 2003, we carried out a HIV Post-exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) project because patients had started to ask about access to HIV PEP medications after an assault. A research team led by Dr. Mona Loutfy, an HIV expert here at WCH, and Dr. Du Mont, developed, implemented and evaluated an HIV PEP program of care in collaboration with 24 SADVTC programs in Ontario. That resulted in the development of a program of care for HIV PEP with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the medication.

As a Network, we also worked with Dr. Du Mont to carry out a client evaluation study from 2009 to 2011 to evaluate our services and identify any gaps in our care. Although the clients that do see us express a high degree of satisfaction with services, we wanted to identify any improvements that could be made to services.

Currently, the Network and Dr. Du Mont have several initiatives underway to strengthen the training/education for SADVTC clinicians across the province. One initiative is the first step toward enhancing training for service provision for victims/survivors who identify as transgender. We have an Advisory Committee of experts that is providing leadership and guidance on this project. A second initiative is a collaborative project led by the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres to strengthen service delivery for Indigenous persons.

On a population level, why is it important for us to be studying sexual assault and domestic violence?

Violence against women occurs at alarming rates with significant negative impacts on the victims/survivors, their families and the community. We need a better understanding of the impact of violence, and the supports needed to aid in recovery. We also need to work on prevention strategies to reduce violence from happening in the first place. Finally, we need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current system in place that respond to issues of violence including criminal justice system processes, and work collaboratively to improve these systems.

What research are you collaborating on now that could help address these issues?

The ongoing development of evidence-based training for health professionals is really important. Robin Mason, PhD, a scientist at WCRI, and Dr. Du Mont and myself have collaborated on educational initiatives to strengthen clinical expertise by developing curricula at One of the curricula we are working on right now is focused on service provider understanding of the less well-understood responses to sexual assault; for example, why a victim/survivor would contact the perpetrator subsequent to a sexual assault.  In addition to gaining an understanding of such issues, the curriculum will aid service providers in providing appropriate responses to women who have been sexually assaulted.


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Read more Health and Community Leaders Talk blog posts on our Healthier, Wealthier, Smarter site and share your insights on Twitter with the hashtag, #onHWS. To learn more about how health research makes Ontario healthier, wealthier, and smarter, check out our website and our other blog posts and videos.