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Disabilities Health Research Network

DHRN Background

Why a Disabilities Health Research Network?

The individual and societal impacts of disability in Canada (and the entire world) are well documented. The impacts of disability include, amongst others, challenges to personal health, employment status, housing, transportation, and social/community engagement.

A significant proportion of Canadians have at least one disabling condition (3.6 million total Canadians in 2001). As our population ages, this percentage increases significantly. Here are the statistics:

Age Groups % of Population with Disabilities
0 - 14 years 3.3 %
15 - 64 years 9.9 %
65 - 74 years 31.2 %
75 and over 53.3 %

Source: Statistics Canada

Thus, British Columbians, and the health research community in particular, have a vested interest in improving the quality of life for its citizens with disability. Research has a crucial role to play in addressing the challenges of disability faced by any society.

As such, the primary themes of the Disabilities Health Research Network (DHRN) are to foster high quality research that:

  • Solves real problems for persons with disability
  • Improves clinical practices of relevance to the health of persons with disability
  • Leads to improved policies of relevance to persons with disability

Developed under the guidance and support of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) and the MSFHR Networking Infrastructure Program, the DHRN looked to a selected Ad Hoc Task Force and the province of BC for valuable input on its initial development. Primary DHRN activities included:

  • Investigation of other research networks, especially those in Quebec
  • A comprehensive canvass of BC organizations working with disability
  • Three 'Research Halls' capturing wider input for Network development
  • Collaboration with the other developing MSFHR Research Networks

These efforts led to the DHRN's Vision, Mission, and Goals.

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Last updated February 16, 2021