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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in immunosuppressed populations and their relatives


Summary of the study

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team has started a sub-project at the Projet Laurent which aims to study, from April to October 2020, the effect of having a pet on:


  • Healthy lifestyle habits (physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep)

  • Various mental health indicators (stress, psychological distress, anxiety and depressive symptoms, Positive and negative emotions and resilience)


in immunosuppressed individuals and their entourage, in the specific context of the COVID-19 pandemic, based on data collected in weekly virtual focus groups and a longitudinal observational survey of more than 125 immunosuppressed patients and their entourage. 


With the help of key partners such as the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP), Wellness Together Canada (WTC), Canadian Transplant Association (CTA), Kidney Foundation of Canada (KFoC), the Canadian Association for Mental Health (CAMH), TRF British Columbia (TRFBC), Qualaxia, Cystic Fibrosis Canada (CFC) and Health Canada (HC), this ambitious project aims to develop effective, real-time and adapted interventions to support immunosuppressed patients in their physical and mental health management during a global crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.  Thus, this sub-project of the Projet Laurent will provide new scientific knowledge and evidence-based tools to adequately support immunosuppressed populations and their relatives in stressful contexts such as the COVID-19 pandemic and will also successfully integrate mental health assessment and management as an integral part of the care of immunosuppressed patients.

aim 1

Capture the modification of lifestyle habits, stress, anxiety levels and coping strategies of immunosuppressed graft recipients, their families and their relatives in the specific context of the containment associated with COVID-19.

aim 2

Study the impact of pet ownership on the stress experienced by this population and the benefits that pets can bring to immunosuppressed recipients and their families.

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