EpiDoc Unit – Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases

helena canhao 2

Helena Canhão

Principal Investigator
Graduated in Medicine - Faculdade de Medicina, University of Lisbon
Master in Clinical Research - Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, USA
PhD in Medicine (Rheumatology) – Faculdade de Medicina, University of Lisbon
Habilitation in Medicine (Rheumatology) - Faculdade de Medicina, University of Lisbon

Brief CV

 

Location:

CEDOC
Campus Sant'Ana
Pólo de Investigação, NMS, UNL
Rua do Instituto Bacteriológico, nº 5
Lab 2.20B
1150-082 Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: (+351) 218 803 110
Ext: 27002/6
Lab ext: 27016
Fax: (+351) 218 851 920
E-mail: helena.canhao(at)nms.unl.pt

Main Interests:

EpiDoC is an epidemiology and outcomes research unit promoted by NOVA Saude and located in NOVA Medical School - CEDOC aiming at providing scientific information of excellence, gathering health and diseases issues and covering clinical, social, economic and human aspects.
Our major research focus is on clinical epidemiology and outcomes research. Even though the largest research interest is on chronic non-communicable diseases, other areas are also developed in partnership with ENSP and ITQB namely public health and molecular epidemiology.
Large experience in training and mentoring of master, doctoral and post-doctoral students are also a Unit’s major activity.
This Unit has expertise in surveys, chronic disease registries, observational studies and management of large databases including a wide range of data: demographic, life habits, clinical, pharmacological, socio-economic, labor, quality of life (QoL), imaging, genetic and laboratorial data.
We have been made long term investment in a population based longitudinal cohort with imaging and blood samples.
EpiDoC is also dedicated to help patients and vulnerable population groups to improve their health. We are committed on promoting educational and training strategies using information and communications technology (ICT, internet, apps and smart TV tools). The Unit has also experience in conducting interventional studies using these new ICTs.
Our aim is to contribute to patient empowerment, to reduce inequities in health and to provide evidence for public health policies.

Main goal
To promote and develop epidemiological and clinical research at NOVA University

Specific Objectives
1- Promote and develop synergies with other research groups (CEDOC, ENSP, ITQB)
2- Promote and boost ongoing research projects (EpiReumaPt, CoReumaPt and Saude.Come)
3- Increment successful call applications (H2020, FCT, other)
4- Develop educational activities (workshops, courses, training, book of epidemiology)

Activities
1) Epidemiological studies and research projects’ design and development
EpiDoC is prepared to give assistance with the preparation of research designs and development of research studies: conceptualize the research problem, develop protocols, study design selection, study setting, exposure definition and measurement, outcome definition and measurement, covariate and data sources selection, sample size and power calculations.

2) Ongoing projects and data availability
EpiDoC is following since 2011, 10661 subjects representative of the Portuguese population (EpiReumaPt & CoReumaPt), capturing several health dimensions.
We are leading the project “Saúde.Come” that aims to create valid information on food insecurity in Portugal with the partnership of ISPUP, NTNU, CLSBE and SPR. This project is conducting a national register on Food Insecurity and performing a randomized control trial (RCT) using new information and communication technologies (ICT) such as apps, online platforms and interactive TV for vulnerable groups.

All data is available for researchers by submitting research projects to the scientific committee.
The unit develops studies in diverse areas mainly in non-communicable chronic diseases. We have the ability to cover large, diverse, defined populations selected for a particular disease, condition, or procedure, capturing complete clinical information about this population over time, including longitudinal information on clinical care, changes in clinical characteristics and conditions, and assessment of clinical care services and outcomes in health.

3) Biological samples & Imaging data
The unit holds biological samples (serum and DNA) and imaging data (DXA and X-rays hip, knee, hand and spine) from over 3,600 donors, enabling and encouraging studies of this kind.

4) Information and communication technologies in health
Developing new technologies (internet, apps, smart TV) as tools to improve health and to monitor disease.
We are design and apply online platforms, apps and TV programs to collect objective measures and clinical monitoring refining individual follow-up of chronic disease patients. These tools are also applied as educational and motivation tools as well as in interventional studies namely to promote life healthy habits.

5) Training and educational activities
This unit allows researchers (fellows, trainees, pre and post graduate students, doctoral and postdoctoral students, etc.) to access database information and facilities including training in epidemiology and cohort study design, dataset cleaning, analysis and interpretation. The Unit endorses mentorship, regular seminars, scientific courses and hands-on workshops to assure high quality research training.

6) Public Health promotion and community intervention
The aim of this activity is to promote the health of the Portuguese population by developing, implementing, and evaluating health promotion/disease prevention programs. Priority areas include non-communicable chronic diseases (rheumatic, cardiovascular, metabolic, dermatologic, gastrointestinal, neurologic and respiratory) but also oncological and infectious diseases.
Community intervention for health is designed to develop and showcase sustainable interventions and policies that improve health and prevent disease in communities.
It demonstrates the effectiveness of healthy lifestyles in non-communicable chronic diseases prevention in a way that is both practical and scientifically rigorous.
Campaigns, reports, papers, meetings, holiday’s camps are promoted to increase the awareness and knowledge on chronic diseases and public health. Direct and web support to investigators and community are offered.

Networking
The unit promotes research networking, both national and international, as well as develops collaborative projects. Data from our cohorts and projects are available for researchers by submitting research projects to the scientific committee.

EpiDoC Unit Flyer

Variables available for research studies proposals

Tasks
• To develop, test and apply innovative forms of “measure” health condition in patients with chronic diseases through new technologies such as internet, apps, smart TV, using patient oriented strategies;
• To identify health access and health consumption inequalities among individuals;
• To identify predictors of morbidity and mortality among non-communicable chronic diseases;
• To study the influence of clinical and socio-demographic and life style characteristics in health outcomes in the Portuguese population;
• To determine the burden of different non-communicable chronic diseases on the functional capability, work status, social and economic outcomes;
• To contribute to outcomes research of multiple diseases including the identification of biomarkers for disease susceptibility, activity and severity, encouraging the development of new approaches to prevention, diagnosis and treatment;
• To monitor the effectiveness and safety of chronic diseases’ treatments in a "real-world" setting;
• To provide community services in the prevention, detection and treatment of chronic diseases and in the education of the population.

epidoc rodas dentadas
 
 

Projects

1) Saúde.Come – Promoting Food Security (Helena Canhão et al) – funded by EEA Grants
Web: http://www.saudepontocome.pt/

2) CoReumaPt_Osteoporose (mulheres com 65 anos de idade): CTOPRA - desenvolvimento e validação de um novo método imagiológico para prever o risco de fracturas osteoporótica (Ana Rodrigues, et al)

3) The socioeconomic burden of low back pain in the Portuguese population: an epidemiological population-based study (Nélia Gouveia et al)

4) Performance of rheumatoid arthritis disease activity instruments in distinct populations - a comparative study upon METEOR (Helena Canhão et al)

5) Risk of fragility fractures and falls in the Portuguese diabetic population (Sofia Furtado et al) – funded by Research grant SPR

6) Assessing pain management of non-inflammatory rheumatic diseases: osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and low back pain (Helena Canhão et al) – funded by Research grant SPR

7) ReumaHEART - a Portuguese population based study (Vital Domingues et al) – funded by Research grant SPR and Research grant SPR/Pfizer

8) Impact of different Community-Based interventions in a range of very different European countries (Giuseppe Liotta et al)

9) Anxiety and depression in Portuguese elderly – determinants and impacts (Rute de Sousa et al) – funded by Research grant SPR

10) Healthy Bone TV (Ana Rodrigues et al) – funded by Research grant SPR/Pfizer

11) Food insecurity in Portugal – costs, burden, challenges and implications (Helena Canhão et al) – funded by Bolsa NOVASaúde

12) SPLIT – Stratified primary care for low back pain (Helena Canhão et al) – funded by P2020

13) Patient2Entrepreneur - Revolutionizing Healthcare: Empowering patients by valuing innovation and promoting entrepreneurship (Helena Canhão, Pedro Oliveira et al) – funded by FCT

14) PREDICT - Personalized therapy for RhEumatic DIseases via machine learning (Helena Canhão et al) – funded by FCT

 
 

Motivated investigators are encouraged to submit a research project proposal by sending the following form (project submission editable form) to rute.sousa(at)nms.unl.pt.

Publications

 
2019

Collaborations

EpiDoC Partners
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP)
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB)

Statistics and Economics Analysis
NOVA IMS Information Management School: Pedro Simões Coelho; Jorge Mendes

Epidemiology
Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do Porto (ISPUP): Henrique de Barros; Raquel Lucas; Ana Cristina Santos
Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU): Geir Espnes; Beate Andre; Kjersti Gronnning

Innovation & Health Economics
Catolica Lisbon School of Business and Economics (CLSBE): Pedro Oliveira; Leid Zejnilovic

Health Economics & Quality of Life Assessment
Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra (FEUC) – Pedro Lopes Ferreira
NOVA School of Business and Economics (SBE) – Pedro Pitta Barros
Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública (ENSP) – Céu Mateus; Ana Moura; Julian Perelman; Rui Santana; Patricia Marques

Social & Human Sciences
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (FCSH UNL) – Paulo Machado

Medical Expertise
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Coimbra (FMUC): José António Pereira da Silva
Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa (FMUL)
Sociedade Portuguesa de Reumatologia (SPR)
Direção Geral da Saúde (DGS)

Team photos

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2017-05-25- Lançamento Livro Envelhecimento Saudável em8402

2017-05-25- Lançamento Livro Envelhecimento Saudável em8400

2017-05-25- Lançamento Livro Envelhecimento 8236

2017-05-25- Lançamento Livro Envelhecimento 8219

2017-05-25- Lançamento Livro Envelhecimento 8205

2017-05-25- Lançamento Livro Envelhecimento 8203

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