My program of research uses interpretive/critical perspectives and intersectional and gender/diversity methods to explore the potential impacts of chronic condition management policies and programs on disadvantaged populations. My current research centres on self-management policies (SM) and programs and the potential implications of SM approaches for health inequities for disadvantaged women.
My research teams are comprised of interdisciplinary and intersectoral members including researchers and decision makers at provincial, national and international levels.
At the international level, I have been playing a leadership role in a CIHR-funded project to develop an international framework on self-management support and a virtual community of practice that aims to bring gender and diversity issues and health equity concerns to the forefront of the discourse and direction in the field. This Framework has been reviewed by more than 200 individuals in 15 countries (policy makers, practitioners, consumers and academics) and is scheduled for publication in fall of 2012. In addition, I am on the advisory board of the Global Alliance for Self-management Support.
At the national level, I have recently completed a Health Canada funded project that involved interviewing 22 disadvantaged women in the lower mainland and comparing their experiences to self-management-related policy and intervention directions across Canada (environmental scan). I am also actively involved as a co-applicant in a Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) funded project with researchers at University of Ottawa and UBC to develop a national framework for evaluation of self-management support initiatives (SMS).
At the provincial and local level, I am implementing a CIHR funded study that investigates how the self-management (SM) experiences of 33 disadvantaged women in the lower mainland relates to SM-related policy context in BC. I am also involved in research initiatives with the Centre of Aging, University of Victoria, Providence Health and SFU on better understanding the self-management needs of ethnocultural minority older women (CIHR- funded). I am currently developing self-management related collaborations with researchers in the areas of e-health and primary health care.
I have also conducted a literature review looking at the patterns of knowledge development in the self-management intervention field. In addition, a recent CIHR-funded study will use realist synthesis methodology to look at which SM interventions work for which disadvantaged groups in what contexts and why.
Given my previous career in health care policy and systems, I have an additional interest in health care system research and knowledge translation. I am a co-applicant on a CIHR funded project exploring leadership in the Canadian health care system.
Mills, S., & Vanden, E. (2011).Workshop Report: International Roundtable on the Self-management Support of Chronic Conditions, Chronic Diseases in Canada 31(4).
Mills, S., Jayanthan, J., & Seaborn, E. (2011). Building common ground: Developing an international framework for bridging evidence, policy and practice in self-management support of chronic conditions. Health Issues, 106, 13-14.
Pederson, A., Ponic, P., Greaves, L., Mills, S., Christilaw, J., Frisby, W., Humphries, K., Poole, N., Young, L. (2010). Igniting an Agenda for Health Promotion for Women: Critical Perspectives, Evidence-based Practice, and Innovative Knowledge Translation. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 101(3), 259-261.
Pederson, A., Hoyak, K., Mills, S. & Camp, P (2007). Reflecting the Changing Face of COPD? Sex and Gender in Public Education Materials on COPD. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 7, 683-685.