Members of the research team pictured: Dr. Boris Zevin, Dr. Nancy Dalgarno, Dr. David Barber, Ms. Rachael Morkem, Ms. Mary Martin  

Members of the research team not pictured: Dr. Robyn Houlden, Mr. Eleftherios Soleas, Dr. Richard van Wylick, Ms. Lynn Roberts 

Obesity is a health topic very much in the public eye. Providing the high-quality and innovative healthcare necessary to help patients manage their obesity challenges requires the collaboration of interprofessional healthcare providers. Healthcare providers deserve research that aligns with their clinical settings. In order to address that need, our Queen’s University research team brought together healthcare providers, surgeons, education scientists, and researchers to develop interprofessional, interdisciplinary research and education programming. Our goal was to equip primary care providers with the best available evidence to inform their clinical practice. 

We conduct research in the clinical and educational settings to give Canada’s healthcare providers the knowledge and resources they require to make the best possible recommendations and care plans for their patients. This knowledge and resources empower healthcare providers to have the difficult patient and family member conversations that make compassionate and effective healthcare possible. From our research, we found barriers that prevented healthcare providers from having these difficult patient/family conversations such as fear of the unknown, stigma, and a lack of communication. To this end, we have brought together dieticians, nurses, surgeons, kinesiologists, endocrinologists, internists, and family medicine specialists to propose interdisciplinary programs and guidelines for primary care providers. These resources are designed to help support the role of the primary care provider in caring for patients with obesity and weight-related health challenges. We aim to inform policy and point-of-care healthcare decision making through patient-centred research integrating healthcare systems data with interviews and surveys conducted with patients and healthcare providers. We share this research through publishing scholarly journal articles, presenting at conferences, and hosting educational programs. 

We would love to hear from potential collaborators and from anyone with innovative ideas for us to investigate. Together, we can continue to improve the outcomes for Canadians with obesity. 

Queen’s University is a research-intensive university with innovative undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing professional development programs. The Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) is comprised of the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Rehabilitation Therapy with a wide offering of highly sought after undergraduate and graduate programs. The FHS vision is to “ask questions, seek answers, advance care, and inspire change”. The Office of Professional Development and Educational Scholarship in the FHS provides support for education research, continuing professional development, faculty development, and global health in conjunction with Queen’s University’s robust business practice and education policies.

Learn More or Contact Queen’s University:

  • We encourage readers to view our CMAJ Open publication: Zevin B, Dalgarno N, Martin M, Grady C, Matusinec J, Houlden R, Birtwhistle R, Smith K, Morkem R, Barber D. Barriers to accessing weight-loss interventions for patients with class II or III obesity in primary care: a qualitative study. CMAJ open. 2019 Oct;7(4):E738. Retrieved from,
  • We invite those interested in learning more to contact us: