Research

As research methodology specialists, we work across topic, discipline, and population to bring rigorous, ethical, and meaningful approaches to studies. Here are some examples of the types of research projects we have worked on.

We take pride in working with diverse partners on interesting research projects. Here are some examples of research partnerships we have had:

  • The Faculty of Medicine (Continuing Professional Development), University of British Columbia, Vancouver

  • The Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH), Toronto Canada

  • National Centre for Men's Health, Carlow Ireland

  • IT Carlow, Carlow Ireland

  • IT Waterford, Waterford Ireland

  • Larkin Community Health Centre, Dublin Ireland

  • Men's Sheds Association, Dublin Ireland

  • Men's Health Research, Vancouver Canada

  • The Global Reporting Centre, Vancouver Canada

  • St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto Canada

  • Diabetes Canada, Toronto Canada

  • The Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), Eldoret Kenya

  • Faculty of Education, Vancouver Canada

Anti-Oppressive Autoethnography
How can reflective or critical self-writing be used to de-centre and disrupt practices of whiteness and settler colonialism?


Collaborative Digital Storytelling with Indigenous Storytellers

How can digital storytelling be used to create respectful narratives that counter practices of settler colonialism and institutional racism in Canada?

Empowerment Journalism

How can journalists counter harmful practices of extractive or parachute journalism?

Intersectionality & Qualitative Study Design

What should researchers know about bringing their whole selves into their research?

Men's Health & Masculinities

How can men be encouraged to take good care of themselves? What does it mean to "be a man" across the lifespan?

Implementing Clinical Practice Guidelines

How effective was our strategy to support health care providers to use new guidelines for diabetes care in Canada?

Abuse Faced by Orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa

When we pool together all available research, are orphans at an increased risk of physical and/or sexual abuse compared to non-orphans? If so, what does this mean for policy?

Veterans, Mental Health, and Research-Based Theatre

How effective is research-based theatre in educating people about the mental health issues that some veterans face when transitioning back into civilian life?  

Making Realist Evaluation More Inclusive

How can we better learn from the expertise of people with lived experience in our realist evaluations? We tested one way this could be done using life histories.

When Women Study Men: Gendered Implications for Qualitative Research

As a white cis female researcher, I am often asked about my capacity to conduct meaningful, credible, and safe research with men. Critics assume that I put myself at risk in the presence of male participants, that they wouldn't talk to me, and that I wouldn't understand what they said anyway. In response, I explore researchers' responsibility to confront gender norms and implicit biases when selecting research environments, conducting interviews, and analyzing data. Otherwise, researchers may reinforce the same structures of power and stereotypical gender norms that they aim to disrupt in their scholarship. 

Lefkowich, M. 2019

Empowerment Journalism

Lefkowich, M. et al. 2019

Briefly visiting communities as an outsider, overlooking local and cultural nuances, and prioritizing “audiences back home” can make parachute journalism problematic. Instead, we developed an approach called “empowerment journalism.” By reimagining the “newsroom” within – rather than distinct from – communities, we illustrate tensions and opportunities for journalists to transition from gatekeeper to collaborator and empower story “subjects” to produce and own their content.

"If we want to get me in, then we need to ask men what they want": Pathways to effective health programming for men

Lefkowich, M. et al. 2015

Despite the growing awareness of men’s health as a priority, there is still a concern that men just don't take care of themselves. Health and community services often struggle to appropriately accommodate men, and men commonly avoid health spaces. This study aims to provide further insight into the ways in which this gap between men and health services can be closed. Findings suggest that gender-specific strategies—especially related to community—engagement and capacity building—are necessary in creating health programs that both promote men’s health and enable men to safely and comfortably participate. 

Lefkowich, M. & Richardson, N. (2018). Men’s health in alternative spaces: Exploring men’s sheds in Ireland. Health Promotion International, 33(3), 525-535.

Hurd Clarke, L. & Lefkowich, M. (2018). ‘I don’t really have any issue with masculinity’: Older Canadian men’s perceptions and experiences of embodied masculinity. Journal of Aging Studies, 45, 18-24.

 

Lefkowich, M., Richardson, N., Brennan, L., Lambe, B. & Carroll, P. (2018). A process evaluation of a Training of Trainers (TOT) model of men’s health training. Health Promotion International, 33(1), 60-70.

 

Lefkowich, M., Oliffe, J.L., Hurd Clarke, L., Hannan-Leith, M. (2016) Male body practices: Pitches, purchases & performativities. American Journal of Men's Health, 11(2), 454 – 463.

Disruptive Stories and Cautionary Tales: an anti-oppressive autoethnography of digital storytelling

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Publications

Lefkowich, M. 2021

Though increasing in popularity, digital storytelling, collaborative film making, and photovoice-style projects raise questions about settler colonialism, institutional racism, and interpersonal power dynamics. To understand how storytelling can identify, challenge, and change social inequities, I conducted an autoethnography or self-study for my PhD. I explored my role in a collaborative digital storytelling project with Indigenous storytellers and settler journalists. From “behind the scenes” reflections, I learned how racism and colonialism become active practices in story planning, filming, and editing. With application for future projects, I offered suggestions to unlearn or disrupt harmful practices at each stage of production. Overall, I advocated for accountability alongside creativity in digital storytelling. Publication forthcoming.

Lived Experience as a Distinct Information Source: A Case Study to Improve E-Health Products for Adults With Type 1 or 2 Diabetes Starting Insulin 

We were part of a team that developed an electronic education tool for people starting insulin. Collaborating with people with diabetes improved the script, tone, and content. This resulted in a far better education tool. We share our case study to demonstrate the power of lived experience and encourage others to reimagine patient engagement when creating future eHealth projects. 

Nichols, J., Boutette, S., & Banasiak, K., 2018

Honoring Lived Experience: Life Histories as a Realist Evaluation Method

Realist evaluation is a methodology that seeks to understand how interventions work by answering the question, “what works, for whom, to what extent, and in what contexts?”. It is an innovative theory-based approach that offers incredible opportunities for intervention design and evaluation. Unfortunately, those with direct experience of interventions (i.e. program participants) have largely been excluded from realist evaluations. This study tests if (and how) life history interviews can be used to capture program participants' experiences in a meaningful way within a realist evaluation. Our work highlights the unique insights of those with lived experience and argues for their inclusion in realist evaluations.

Richardson, EZL., Phillips, M., Colom, A., & Nichols, J., 2018

Audience responses to a Canadian research-based play about returning military veterans

Belliveau, G. & Nichols, J., 2017

Research-based theatre combines research, lived experience, and theatre in order to transform the audiences' understanding of complex issues and encourage action. In April 2015, a research-based play was created to depict the experiences of Canadian veterans and their transition home after overseas combat. The play has been staged 15 times across Canada. We studied audience experiences immediately after the performance and six months later to better understand project impacts.  

Nichols, J., Cox, S., Cook, C., Lea, G.W., & Belliveau, G. (submitted). It Takes a Lot of Strength to Unf*ck Your Sh*t: Research-based Theatre with Veterans as a Mental Health Literacy Intervention. Social Science & Medicine

Nichols, J., Belliveau, G., Cox, S., Lea, G. W. & Cook, C. (in press). Key questions in evaluating audience impact: A mixed methods approach in research-based theatre. In D. Snyder-Young & M. Omasta (Eds.) Impacting Theatre Audiences: Methods for Studying Change. New York: Routledge.

Nichols, J., Mamdani, M., Gomes, T., Shah, BR., Gall Casey, C., & Yu, C. (2020). Impact of Clinical Practice Guidelines on Blood Glucose Test Strip Prescription Rates in Manitoba and Saskatchewan (Canada): An Interrupted Time-Series Analysis. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcjd.2020.11.008

Belliveau, G., Cox, S., Nichols, J., Lea, G. W. & Cook, C. (2020). Examining the Ethics of Research-based Theatre through Contact!Unload. In T. Prentki & A. Breed (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Applied Performance. London: Routledge.

Nichols, J., Belliveau, G., & Cox, S. (2020). Understanding the impacts of Contact!Unload on the audience. In G. Belliveau & G. W. Lea (Eds.), Contact!Unload: Research-based theatre with military veterans. Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press.

 

Valdez, J., & Nichols, J. (2020). Vulnerable strength seen. In G. Belliveau & G. W. Lea (Eds.), In G. Belliveau & G. W. Lea (Eds.), Contact!Unload: Research-based theatre with military veterans. Vancouver, Canada: UBC Press.

Nichols, J., Shah, B., Penqueno, P., Gall Casey, C., & Yu, C (2020). The Impact of a Guideline Dissemination Strategy on Diabetes Diagnostic Test Rates: An Interrupted Time Series. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 35(9), 2662-2667. 

Richardson, E., Phillips, M., Colom, A., Khalil, L., & Nichols, J. (2019). Out of School Factors Affecting Indigenous Girls’ Educational Attainment: A Theory of Change for the Opening Opportunities Programme in Rural Guatemala. Journal of Comparative and International Education, 47(2).

 

Rigobon, AV., Kalia, S., Nichols, J., Aliarzadeh, B., Greiver, M., Moineddin, R., Sullivan, F., & Yu, C. (2019). Measuring the Impact of the Canadian Diabetes Association Guidelines Dissemination Strategy on the Prescription of Vascular Protective Medications for People Living with Diabetes: An Interrupted Time Series on Physician Behaviour. Diabetes Care, 42(1), 148-156.

Shah, S., Young, K., Shakik, S., Khorasheh, T., Hossain, A., Kerr, J., Nichols, J., & Yu, C. (2018). The Impact of Guideline Integration into Electronic Medical Records on Outcomes for Patients with Diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 42, S46

Nichols, J., Vallis, M., Boutette, S., Gall Casey, C., & Yu, C. (2018). A Canadian Cross-Sectional Survey on Psychosocial Supports for People Living with Diabetes: Health Care Providers’ Awareness, Capacity, and Motivation. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 42, 389-394

Nichols, J., Embleton, L., Mwangi, A., Morantz, G., Vreeman, R., Ayaya, S., ...Braitstein, P. (2014). Physical and Sexual Abuse in Orphaned Compared to Non-Orphaned Children and Youth in sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis. Child Abuse & Neglect, 38, 304-316

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