Research Queen's University Canada

Centre for Studies in Primary Care

Centre for Studies in Primary Care

The Centre for Studies in Primary Care (CSPC) is small in size but ambitious in scope. Based in the Department of Family Medicine at Queen's, the CSPC pulls together researchers from various disciplines to conduct research activities in areas relevant to primary health care, medical education, chronic disease, health care delivery, evidence-based medicine, health equity, and patient-centered care.

The CSPC has a strong focus on what is known as “global health.” Global Health looks at issues related to the health care and the health of vulnerable populations or persons struggling with what can be termed health inequities. Such groups include immigrants, Indigenous peoples, and others whose economic and social conditions can harm their health. CSPC researchers are also investigating the health effects of trauma, particularly in early life. Known as adverse childhood experiences, these can negatively affect a person’s health in later years. Researchers hope to learn what can be done to overcome the impact of these early experiences in adulthood. Another area of research involves epigenetics. Many diseases have a genetic component. Epigenetics seek to understand the non-biological factors such as the lived environment, gender, and so on, that translate into biologic processes that protect us from illnesses or trigger them. The Centre has an expanding involvement in research to improve Indigenous health.

The Centre for Studies in Primary Care also supports evaluation and research that leads to improvements in the quality of family medicine resident training and education curriculum, such as preparing residents to practice medicine with a view towards health equity.

  • Partnerships
  • Student Opportunities

The CSPC is the home of the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN), a linkage of medical records for more than 1 million Canadians across the country. It also manages the Eastern Ontario Network, created to collect health information from local doctors. CPCSSN’s mission is to extract primary health care data from cooperating physicians’ electronic medical records to enable researchers to study and improve the health of Canadians.

Because of the nature of medical training, the CSPC does not recruit MSc and PhD students the way other centres do at Queen’s. However, a number of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows have done work with Centre researchers, either through their own departments or with independent funding.