Krista Keilty

PhD student honoured four-fold by Canadian and Ontario Lung Associations

29 June 2012

PhD candidate Krista Keilty’s commitment to the health of children and their caregivers has been recognized with two grants and two fellowships from the Canadian and Ontario Lung Associations (CLA and OLA respectively).

“I am absolutely honoured to receive these grants from the provincial and national lung associations,” said Keilty. “My study design is somewhat ambitious, including recruitment from three separate sites, the collection of seven days and nights of sleep data, and home visits for each of the 80 participants, but it will be worth it.”

Keilty received a doctoral fellowship from the CLA – Canadian Respiratory Health Professionals (CRHP), which promotes thesis-based graduate study in any area of lung health that contributes to the field of respiratory health in Canada. She also received a grant from the same branch. In addition, Keilty was awarded an OLA – Ontario Respiratory Care Society (ORCS) research grant and an ORCS Fellowship supporting her studies at Bloomberg Nursing, so she may be better able to contribute to the field of respiratory illness, health care and education.

All funds are also in support of Keilty’s research titled, “Sleep Disturbance in Family Caregivers of Technology Dependent Children.” In the prospective cohort study, sleep and related health outcomes, such as quality of life, depression, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue, in family caregivers of technology dependent children (e.g. those requiring home mechanical ventilation) will be compared to sleep in family caregivers of healthy age-matched children.

Sleep will be evaluated using actigraphy, a wrist watch-like device that provides objective data, along with other data sources, including a customized sleep diary and a validated measure of sleep quality. Caregiver, child and environmental factors that may influence sleep will also be explored. Results of this investigation will inform the development of targeted sleep interventions for family caregivers and will be of interest to child health clinicians, researchers, policy makers and advocates. Co-investigators include Keilty’s PhD supervisor, assistant professor Dr. Robyn Stremler.

“Lung Association funds will assist with the purchase of equipment, supplies and employing personnel to help run the study,” said Keilty. “The grants will also help ensure the knowledge gained from this study is widely communicated to inform clinical practice, health policy and future research.”