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Patient Partner, Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit Nutrition Study

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Open to Fraser – Vancouver Coastal, Patient partners in Fraser Health communities

Last updated

Are you interested in improving how nutrition is provided to patients in Intensive Care Units, and would you like to be part of a research team exploring how many calories certain patients use? If yes, complete the RSVP form to collaborate with our team!

Open to: Patient partners in Fraser Health communities

Lead Organization or Department

BC SUPPORT Unit Fraser Centre


To begin looking at how many calories an obese patient in an ICU uses depending on if the patient has or doesn’t have muscle weakness. The beginning stages of the project will help determine a timeline and provide more information for a larger project. The aim of the research is to provide dietitians and doctors who prescribe nutrition for ICU patients with more information on how many calories to give. A patient partner can offer insight into how meaningful this topic is to patients’ families and how to have discussions about consent with family members.

Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of collaborate on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will work together with you to formulate solutions and incorporate your advice and recommendations into the decisions to the maximum extent possible.


Open to volunteers in the Fraser Valley who:
  • Have received care in an ICU or are a family member/care giver of an ICU patient
  • Are interested in health research
  • Thrive in a team environment
  • Have had interaction with a Fraser Health Hospital (i.e. Abbotsford Regional Hospital).
If you have a strong interest in this work but have not yet completed a PVN orientation and Volunteer Agreement, are unsure if your experience is a good fit or feel another format of engagement would work better with your availability, please contact the engagement leader directly.


  • Vacancies: 2
  • Date and time: An in-person 2 hour introductory meeting to be scheduled during December 2019-early January 2020 with follow-up 1 hour biweekly phone meetings between January - March 2020; the duration and frequency of team meetings will be revised as needed and based upon input from the patient partners and other members of the research team.
  • Location: In-person and telephone
  • Commitment: 6 months


Out-of-pocket expenses (mileage, transit fares, parking) will be reimbursed. In addition, compensation will be discussed with the patient partner on an individual basis.


Obesity is highly prevalent internationally and within Canada with up to 27% of the Canadian population being identified as obese with a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30. Critical care admissions of obese patients have also risen, now representing 25-30% of ICU admissions. Currently, there is limited evidence and conflicting guidelines on optimal caloric recommendations for these obese patients in ICU. Furthermore, there is no research on the amount and function of muscle mass on calorie needs of these patients. The study will be using a questionnaire to evaluate muscle function. The questionnaire is not part of routine care and has no foreseeable risks associated with it. The study will also measure how many calories a patient uses with the help of technology that is already part of standard care. There are minor risks associated with this technology but these are mitigated by having a protocol in place and trained staff to complete and read the measurements. The research team is comprised of three dietitians, a registered nurse, and a respiratory therapist working in acute care at Abbotsford Regional Hospital ICU and University of British Columbia.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Alia Januwalla
BC SUPPORT Unit – Fraser Centre
604.587.4600 ext. 765870

From Our Community

Laura Parmar

Physician Quality Improvement Coach — Northern Health

Laura Palmer

It has been so rewarding to go from an idea to working with such a great group of dedicated people from so many different organizations towards a very fun and rewarding project. Several extremely engaged PVN members expressed interest in being part of piloting a patient virtual care peer support system. I am confident that this is the beginning of many more exciting collaborations!