TWU researchers Abner Kooner, Lillian Li, and Gabriella Collins advance patient-centered practices in Canadian healthcare

This summer, TWU nursing students Abner Kooner, Lillian Li, and Gabriella Collins are conducting research alongside Dr. Angela Wolff. Together they are working to advance more patient-centered healthcare practices.

Hearing patients’ needs first

“How are you doing today?” is a question that healthcare providers seek to answer with the use of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) and patient reported experience measures (PREMs), which are standardized, validated questionnaires for healthcare settings.

At their core, PROMs are assessment tools used to gain insight into what matters the most to patients. These insights are increasingly valuable to healthcare providers as they allow for care that is more patient-centered.

Incorporating patients’ voice to inform their care 

Through PROMs, healthcare providers are able to incorporate their patients’ voice to inform their care – especially on matters that are often unobserved, or those than can be sensitive and not easily discussed, for example, depression or quality of life.

The information gathered can be used to better inform shared clinical decision-making, leading to improved patient-clinician communication and the detection of overlooked problems, thereby ensuring quality individualized care.

Unfortunately, not all healthcare providers use patient-reported instruments – but, why? This is precisely the realm that Dr. Angela Wolff’s team seeks to understand. Specifically, what are healthcare providers’ experiences using PREMs and PROMs and how can they be successfully integrated into daily practice. To do this, a multi-method approach is being used to develop guidelines for healthcare providers and decision makers.

TWU summer research team

Abner Kooner, Lillian Li, and Gabriella Collins are among the winners of 2021 TWU USRA research awards.

Abner Kooner is a third-year nursing student with a long-time passion for research. In addition to his Undergraduate Research Assistant role with Dr. Angela Wolff, Abner is involved in Dr. Sarah Liva’s work on postpartum healthcare that seeks to conduct a scoping review to map the pre-existing literature on healthcare needs during the postpartum period. His work will provide a greater understanding of postpartum care needs, and can help identify and remedy any lapses in the services offered to meet the specific needs of the postpartum population. At present, Abner dreams of the exciting and numerous fields available in the nursing profession, including roles such as Travel or Flight Nurse. Wherever his nursing career may lead, he hopes to continue to be involved in research.

As a life-long student, Lillian is humbled by the things she has yet to experience and learn. She aspires to carry on the legacy of those in healthcare who pioneered a way by establishing policies, improving processes and dreaming up solutions. Through opportunities like this summer’s research work at TWU, Lillian hopes to continue her education to become a practitioner, innovator and entrepreneur.

Gabriella first became interested in nursing research after taking a nursing research course in her second year at TWU. She is entering her third year of nursing and hopes to continue her journey of nursing research in some capacity throughout her studies at TWU. Gabriella has enjoyed the opportunity to work under Dr. Wolff and Dr. Thakkar (post-doctoral fellow) throughout this project and has learnt about the diverse field of nursing research from both of them. She hopes to contribute to nursing research in her career as a nurse one day.

See also — How Natalie Szakun's research at TWU helps future generations of Canadian women have healthier hearts and happier lives:​
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 About Trinity Western University

Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has four campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, and Ottawa. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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