Public & Private Sectors

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) of York University has over 50 years of experience of delivering high quality, representative, and reliable data to various private sector clients and government agencies.

Health Care Experience (HCE) Survey

Research Period: 2012 – Present
Funding Source: Government of Ontario, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Project Description: This province-wide, annual study measures the public’s access to physicians by interviewing a random selection of Ontarians on their experiences seeking primary health care. The Institute is completing approximately 11,200 telephone interviews across Ontario this year. Respondents will be asked about their satisfaction with health care in Ontario, their personal health and if they have a family doctor.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup, Director, Survey Research, 416-736-5467 or leave a message at 1-888-847-0148.
For more information: www.ontario.ca/healthsurvey or call Service Ontario at 1-866-979-9300 (toll free).

Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) Survey

Research Period: 2001 – Present
Funding Source: Ontario Public Health Units
Project Description: The goal of this study is to gather data for the planning and evaluation of public health programs and services across Ontario. Modeled after a study first conducted by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the RRFSS study gathers data which is used to monitor key public health issues such as flu shots, health eating, drinking and driving, sun safety, women’s health, and so on. In 2016, the Institute will conduct approximately 17,000 telephone interviews, on both landlines and cell phones, with residents in the regions served by each participating Public Health Unit.
ISR’s contact: Liza Mercier, Project Manager
For more information: http://www.rrfss.ca

Ontario Student Drug Use and Health (OSDUHS) Survey

Research Period: 1981 – present
Funding Source: Government of Ontario, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Mann, CAMH
Project Description: Now spanning more than 30 years, the OSDUHS is the longest ongoing school survey in Canada, and one of the longest in the world. The Institute has conducted this survey for CAMH since 1981, and is currently undertaking its 20th wave of this study. The survey, which now includes measures of student mental and physical well-being, is administered in classrooms across Ontario to approximately 11,500 students in grades 7 through 12 between October 2016 and May 2017. This comprehensive strategy facilitates comparisons between Canadian and American studies, and provides information on the critical age patterns associated with smoking, drinking, drug use, and physical and mental well-being.
ISR’s Contact: Stella Park, Project Manager
For more information: www.camh.ca/osduhs

Physical Activity Monitor (PAM) Survey

Research Period: 2016-2017
Funding Source:   The Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council
Co-Principal Investigators: Christine Cameron and Cora Lynn Craig, CFLRI
Project Description:  The Physical Activity Monitor (PAM) is a telephone survey of nationally representative population samples. The PAM survey tracks physical activity and sport participation among Canadians and tracks changes in physical activity patterns over time, along with factors influencing participation.  The 2016-2017 PAM will collect data from approximately 4000 residents of Canada.  Data will be collected in every Province and Territory.  Interviewing will be conducted in English and French.
The research is being conducted for the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) a not-for-profit research agency that has been studying the physical activity patterns of Canadians since 1981.
ISR’s Contact: Richard Myles, Associate Director
For more information: http://www.cflri.ca/

CAMH Monitor Survey

Research Period: 1981 – present
Funding Source: CAMH; Government of Ontario
Principal Investigator: Dr. Robert Mann, CAMH
Project Description: Since 1981, ISR has been conducting the annual CAMH Monitor survey. This is the longest ongoing addiction and mental health survey among adults in Canada. The CAMH Monitor provides trend data in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, mental health, as well as gauges public opinion toward tobacco and alcohol policies. In 2016, the Institute will conduct approximately 3,000 telephone interviews across Ontario.
ISR’s contact: Stella Park, Project Manager
For more information: http://www.camh.ca/camh-monitor

Oxford Health Matters Survey

Research Period: Fall 2016
Funding Source: Oxford County Public Health
Project Description: This fall, the Institute will complete telephone interviews among 500 residents of Oxford County. The goal of the ‘Oxford Health Matters Survey’ is to monitor residents’ opinions on important public health issues in order to shape the future of public health programs.
ISR’s contact: Liza Mercier, Project Manager
For more information: www.oxfordcounty.ca/speakup

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) Survey

Research Period: 2016
Funding Source: Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) Survey
Principal Investigator: Corinne Kagan, Senior Program Director, Acquired Brain Injury, ONF
Project Description: ISR is currently assisting the ONF in the design, conduct, and analyses of a telephone survey of 55 clinics that treat concussions in the province of Ontario. This survey focuses on services provided at clinics, utilization patterns of these clinics, as well as clinic needs.
ISR’s Contact: David Northrup
For more information: www.onf.org

CANPLAY Pedometer Study

Research Period: 2005 – 2015
Funding Source: Federal, Provincial and Territorial governments through the Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council and the Public Health Agency of Canada
Co-Investigators: Christine Cameron and Cora Lynn Craig
Project Description: Canada’s study on Physical Activity Levels Among Youth is an annual survey designed to collect comprehensive and accurate information on the physical activity levels of Canadian children and youth via pedometers. Approximately 10,000 children and youth were initially selected from across Canada for the 2007 survey. The survey will be conducted annually through 2015-2016. The research is being conducted for the Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute (CFLRI) a not-for-profit research agency that has been studying the physical activity patterns of Canadians since 1981.
ISR’s Contact: Richard Myles, Associate Director
For more information: http://www.cflri.ca/

Breast Cancer and Diet Study

Research Period: 2014 – 2015
Funding Source: Cancer Care Ontario
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michelle Cotterchio, University of Toronto; Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)
Project Description: Researchers for this study are conducting an intervention trial to evaluate the possible beneficial effects of flaxseed intake on circulating estrogens thought to be involved in breast cancer development, with the ultimate goal being the prevention of breast cancer. ISR is conducting a telephone survey to recruit participants for this study.
ISR’s Contact: David Northrup and Tammy Chi
For more information: https://www.cancercare.on.ca

Medical Marijuana Use in Ontario Study

Research Period: 2015
Funding Source: CAMH
Principal Investigator: Dr. Benedikt Fischer, CAMH
Project Description:  This study interviewed 55 marijuana users who were recruited by CAMH to participate in the CAMH Monitor survey (the longest ongoing addiction and mental health survey among adults in Canada). The survey provides trend data in alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, mental health, as well as gauges public opinion toward tobacco and alcohol policies. Each interview took 20 minutes to complete.
ISR’s contact: Stella Park

Survey of Older Adults on behalf of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

Research Period: 2014-2015
Funding Source: National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)
Co-investigators: Dr. Lynn McDonald and Dr. Anthony Lombardo, NICE
Project Description: ISR is completing the Survey of Older Adults on behalf of the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE). The main goal of the survey is to measure mistreatment of older adults in Canada. For this study, older adults are defined as people who are 55 years of age or older. Mistreatment of older adults is rare, but it can take many forms including not providing assistance when needed as well as psychological, financial, physical, and sexual abuse. The survey of at least 5,000 older Canadians will be completed in all ten provinces. Interviewers will have information to provide to respondents who have been abused. A social worker is available to talk with survey respondents at any time during the course of the study.
ISR’s Contact: David Northrup, Director, Survey Research
For more information: Dr. Lombardo can be reached at: alombardo@nicenet.ca or via toll-free telephone at 1-888-501-9226 x 101.
Website: www.nicenet.ca

Pancreatic Cancer Recruitment Study

Research Period: 2011 – 2012
Funding Source: Cancer Care Ontario (CCO)
Principal Investigator: Saira Mohammed, CCO
Project Description: Researchers at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) are studying pancreatic cancer, a leading cause of cancer deaths in Canada. Nearly 4,000 Canadians are found to have pancreatic cancer each year and only about 5% of them survive for five years or more years after diagnosis. The researchers recruited about 800 people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer into the study, and ISR’s role was to recruit a comparison sample of the same age and gender who did not have pancreatic cancer. The Institute recruited about 1,600 Ontarians 35 to 80 years of age from spring 2011 through winter 2012. About 55% of the sample was male and 45% female. Given that pancreatic cancer is much more common in older people, about 90 percent of the sample were between 50 and 80 years of age. People who agreed to participate in the study were sent a mail-back questionnaire and, if they agreed, provided a blood or saliva sample. The researchers will compare the two groups on the basis of overall health, current and past medical conditions for both the respondent and their family, genetics, diet, smoking behaviour, and other health determinants.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup

Intervention for Problem Drinkers

Research Period: 2009 – 2011
Funding Source: CAMH
Principal Investigator: Dr. John Cunningham, CAMH
Project Description: Helping problem drinkers who will never seek treatment is a challenging public health issue because of the large number of problem drinkers and the limited amount of resources available. This study, which was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), was conducted on behalf of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). The goal of the study was to evaluate whether an intervention (e.g., a pamphlet) had any impact on drinking habits, the likelihood of seeking help, perceived risks of drinking, and social reasons for drinking. Between 2009 and 2011, the Institute conducted interviews with adults in the Greater Toronto Area in order to identify 2,400 problem drinkers. Respondents who agreed to participate in a follow-up study might have had a pamphlet entitled “Evaluate Your Drinking” mailed to their household. During two follow-up interviews – in three months and in six months – respondents were again asked about their drinking habits.
ISR’s contact: Liza Mercier

Salmonella Study

Research Period: Spring 2011
Funding Source: Public Health Ontario
Principal Investigator: Lisa Fortuna, Public Health Ontario
Project Description: Public Health Ontario conducted a survey of Ontario residents who had been diagnosed with Salmonella. PHO asked the Institute to collect a comparison sample of people who had not been infected to facilitate comparisons between people with and without a Salmonella infection. The Institute used random digit dialing (RDD) to capture the comparison sample. ISR surveyed approximately 200 Ontarians. All of the interviews were conducted with adults but parents were also asked about their children in about one-half of the interviews. 
ISR’s contact: David Northrup

Primary Care Access Survey

Research Period: 2010
Funding Source: Government of Ontario, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
Project Description: This province-wide study measured the public’s access to physicians by interviewing a random selection of Ontarians on their experiences seeking primary health care. The Institute completed approximately 2,100 telephone interviews across Ontario in each of the first three quarters of 2010. Respondents were asked about their reasons for wanting to contact a physician or their office, any barriers or wait times they experienced, and their overall levels of satisfaction in accessing care. The information will be used to develop programs to improve the public’s access to physicians across the province.
ISR’s contact: David Northrup, Director, Survey Research

 

ISR’s Past projects (1996-2011)