CDTRP Research Innovation Grant – Dr. Suze Berkhout

Through collaboration with partner organizations, CDTRP is pleased to announce the results of our annual Research Innovation Grant competition to fund exciting new project ideas. Over the coming weeks, we will be profiling all of the projects funded in the 2022 competition.

CDTRP Research Innovation Grant 

Dr. Suze Berkhout

  • Main affiliation: University Health Network
  • Theme 5 – Restore Long-Term Health
  • Title: Temporalities of Cure: A qualitative study of psychosocial support needs and long-term survivorship in liver transplantation
Lay abstract

Liver transplantation, while being a definitive treatment for end-stage liver disease, often has increasing complications as patients and families move from the immediate post-transplant experience to long-term survivorship. Serious medical and mental health challenges are common. But many of the support needs of patients and families are not well-understood in this more chronic trajectory and there is a lack of evidence-based interventions dedicated toward supporting people through the survivorship journey. These challenges may be accentuated by the common expectation that transplantation offers a definitive cure, and that illness is experienced pre- rather than post-transplant. This project uses qualitative and arts-based research methods to characterize the current state of knowledge surrounding psychosocial support needs for recipients and caregivers who are in a longer-term post-transplant time-course and explore where there are gaps in knowledge and practice. Through a literature review, a critical analysis of how psychosocial supports are measured and studied, qualitative interviews and observational research, we will be able to understand what psychosocial supports and mental health needs are not being met and begin to conceptualize how this might be addressed. The project will culminate in a series of digital storytelling workshops led by artists, filmmakers, and liver transplant recipients, generating digital short films that communicate the compelling stories of long-term liver transplant survivors and share their knowledge of how to best support them as their journey progresses.

“The CDTRP is proud to support this important project that will explore the needs of liver transplant recipients for psychosocial supports. We often hear from patients and their families about the importance of research focusing on long-term wellness, including mental health. We are excited to see the innovative short films this project will produce, through arts-based research approaches to better understand and communicate patient and family experiences.”

Dr. Patricia Gongal, CDTRP Executive Director