Researchers sprang into action, and Rapid Response research funds were used to explore the pandemic from many angles
FCS faculty studied many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on our world. This year $123,606 in funding was granted to eighteen COVID-19 rapid response research projects. Among them:
Nick Bellissimo, a professor at the School of Nutrition, used consumer behaviour research models to examine consumer mindsets and communication strategies concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Bellissimo, and his team, identified three different “mindsets” and “communication needs,” if public health messaging is to be effective. “In many ways, I think we were ahead of the pandemic with our research. This study has been replicated in several countries, and we see better results in areas that have followed communication guidelines like the ones we produced in our study,” said Bellissimo.
FCS granted $123,606 in funding to 18 COVID-19 Rapid Response research projects.
May Friedman, a professor at the School of Social Work, looked at Mothers and COVID-19. During COVID-19, employment expectations, unemployment realities, and mothering expectations collide with homeschool and social expectations that broadly fall on mothers. “Mothers are implicated in specific and complex ways. Supporting mothers in telling their stories may support advocacy that allows for better social supports for mothers and families.”
Jennifer Lapum and Suzanne Fredericks, professors at the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, partnered with nurse leaders at University Health Network and University of Toronto to explore the emotional experiences of nurses working in COVID-19 positive acute care hospital environments. This study highlighted the intensity and complexity of these emotions and how it affected one’s mental health. While loss and trauma were present, their stories also reflected resilience. This research was published in the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research and International Health Trends and Perspectives.
Professors Oona St-Amant, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, Karline Wilson-Mitchell, Midwifery Education Program, Henry Parada, Social Work, and Anneke Rummens, Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing, are analyzing discourses that inform guiding policies and standards of care for frontline workers. The team is identifying how objects associated with the pandemic, such as masks and other personal protective equipment for healthcare providers, have come to symbolize meaning in everyday life. The team has submitted a paper for publication under review. The findings will be used to engage in dialogue with professional associations and advocate for safe and equitable policies and practices for frontline healthcare providers across Ontario.
Fatih Sekercioglu, Richard Meldrum and Ian Young, professors at the School of Occupational and Public Health, studied case and contact management team members. Many of these staff have been working in these roles throughout the pandemic. Their findings will inform strategies to support case and contact management staff and programs for this and future pandemics in Canada and beyond. The team also studied the pandemic’s impact on consumer food handling and hand hygiene practices. They found that Canadians changed a number of practices, including increased hand washing, but also uncovered some potentially harmful ones, such as washing food with soap and other chemicals.
FCS faculty also studied the pandemic’s impact on diabetes, homeless youth, programming for young transgender people, and looked at food security among pregnant and postpartum homeless people in Toronto and how Sign Language and online learning impacted young people and parents.