Picture of Megan O'Connell

Megan O'Connell B.A.Hon., M.A., Ph.D. (University of Victoria, Clinical Neuropsychology), R.D. Psych.

Professor

Faculty Member in Psychology and Health Studies

Office
Arts 182

Research Area(s)

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Neuropsychology
  • Caregiver support
  • Telemedicine
  • Technology

About me

COVID-19 Volunteer Psychologist for Frontline Healthcare Providers - https://cpa.ca/corona-virus/psychservices/#Saskatchewan

Alzheimer Society Canada Dementia and COVID-19 Task Force member - https://alzheimer.ca/en/Home/Living-with-dementia/managing-through-covid-19/covid-19-and-dementia-task-force

Remote Dementia Care - https://cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/ruraldementiacare/remote/index.php

Associate Member, Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Medicine

Clinical Psychologist, Neuropsychology - Rural and Remote Memory Clinic (RRMC) http://www.cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/ruraldementiacare/rrmc.html

co-PI - Team 15 Rural - RRMCi https://bit.ly/memoryclinic
 Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) http://ccna-ccnv.ca/en/research/theme-3/

Co-I - Rural Dementia Action Research (RaDAR) team http://www.cchsa-ccssma.usask.ca/ruraldementiacare/investigators.html

PI - VideoTherapy Analysis Laboratory (ViTAL) http://ssrl.usask.ca/vital/

Member - Psychology Working Group - Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) https://www.clsa-elcv.ca/

Publications

Publications since 2019 (denotes student, PDF, or staff under O’Connell’s supervision)

Grewal, K. S., Trites, M., Kirk, A., MacDonald, S.W.S. Morgan, D., Gowda-Sookochoff, R., O’Connell, M. E. (Accepted). CVLT-II Short Form Forced Choice Recognition in a clinical dementia sample: Cautions for performance validity assessment. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2022.2079088

Bacsu, J., Fraser, S., Chasteen, A. L., Cammer, A., Grewal, K. S., Bechard, L. E., Bethell, J., Green, S., McGilton, K. S., Morgan, D., O’Rourke, H. M., Poole, L., Spiteri, R. J., & O’Connell, M. E. (in press). Using Twitter to Examine Stigma Against People with Dementia During COVID-19: Infodemiology Study. JMIR Aging. doi:10.2196/35677

Chakanyuka, C., Bacsu, J., DesRoches, A., O’Connell, M. E., Walker, J., Dame, J., Carrier, L., Symenuk, P., Crowshoe, L., & Bourque Bearskin, L. (accepted). Indigenous cultural safety within healthcare: A scoping review of reviews. Social Science & Medicine.*

Geddes, M. R., Fisk, J. D., Camicioli, R., Ismail, Z., O’Connell, M. E., & Cullum, C. M. (2021). Remote cognitive assessment: guiding principles and future directions. World Alzheimer Report 2021: Journey through the diagnosis of dementia (pp. 67 – 70). Published online, via https://www.alzint.org/u/World-Alzheimer-Report-2021.pdf. Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Bacsu, J,. O’Connell. M. E., Webster, C., Poole, L., Wighton, M. B., Sivananthan., S., Cammer, A., Azizi, M., Grewal, K., Green, S., Gowda-Sookochoff, R., & Spiteri, R. J. (2021). Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia and their carers. World Alzheimer Report 2021: Journey through the diagnosis of dementia (pp. 251 – 254). Published online, via https://www.alzint.org/u/World-Alzheimer-Report-2021.pdf. Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Chakanyuka, C., Bacsu, J., DesRoches, A., O’Connell, M. E., Walker, J., Dame, J., Carrier, L., Symenuk, P., Crowshoe, L., & Bourque Bearskin, L. (2021). Appraising Indigenous cultural safety within healthcare delivery: Protocol of a scoping review of reviews. Journal of Advanced Nursing. http://doi.org/10.1111/jan.15096

Grewal, K. S., O’Connell, M. E., Kirk, A., MacDonald, S. W. S, & Morgan, D. G. (2021). Intraindividual Variability Measured with Dispersion Across Diagnostic Groups in a Memory Clinic Sample. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult. https://doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2021.1970552

Elliot, V., Morgan, D., Kosteniuk, J., Bayly, M., Froehlich Chow, A., Cammer, A., & O’Connell, M. E. (2021). Palliative and end-of-life care for people living with dementia in rural areas: A scoping review. PloS one, 16(1), e0244976. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244976

O’Connell, M. E., Suskin, N., & Prior, P. L. (2021). Measuring true change in individual patients: Reliable change indices of cardiac rehabilitation outcomes, and implications for quality indicators. Canadian Journal of Cardiology Open, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cjco.2021.05.006

O’Connell, M. E., Kadlec, H., Maimon, G., Taler, V., Simard, M., Griffith, L., Tuokko, H., Voll, S., Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., & Raina, P. (2021). Methodological considerations when establishing reliable and valid normative data: Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) neuropsychological battery. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. https://doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2021.1954243

O’Connell, M. E., Haase, K. R., Grewal, K. S., Panyavin, I., Kortzman, A., Flath, M. E., Cammer, A., Cosco, T. D., & Peacock, S. (2021). Overcoming barriers to technology adoption for older adults to maintain virtual community and social connections during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Gerontologist. https://doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2021.1943589

O’Connell, M. E., Panyavin, I., Bourque Bearskin, L., Walker, J., & Bourassa, C. (in press). Neuropsychological assessment with Indigenous Peoples in Saskatchewan: A lesson in cultural humility. In Irani, F. (Ed.) A handbook of cultural diversity in neuropsychological assessment: developing understanding through global case studies. 

Walker, J., O’Connell, M. E., Pitawanakwat, K., Blind, M., Warry, W., Lemieux, A., Patterson, C., Allaby, C., Valvasori, M. Zhou, Y., & Jacklin, K. (2021). Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment (CICA): Inter-rater reliability and criterion validity in Anishinaabe communities on Manitoulin Island, Canada. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring. https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12213

St. John, P., Menec, V., Tate, R., Newall, N., O'Connell, M. E., & Cloutier, D. (2021). Functional status in rural and urban adults – the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. The Journal of Rural Health. https://doi.org/10.1111/jrh.12578

Haase, K., Cosco, T., Kervin, L., Riadi, L., & O’Connell, M. E. (2021). Older adults' experiences of technology use for socialization during the COVID-19 pandemic: A regionally representative cross-sectional survey. JMIR Aging, 4(2), e28010 http://www.doi.org/10.2196/28010

Bayly, M., O’Connell, M. E., Kortzman, A., Peacock, S., Morgan, D. G., & Kirk, A. (2021). Family carers’ narratives of the financial consequences of young onset dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice.  https://doi.org/10.1177/14713012211009341

Clarke, K., St. John, P., Menec, V., Newall., N., Coutier, D., O'Connell, M. E., Tate, R., (2021). Healthcare utilization among Canadian adults in rural and urban areas – the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine, 26(2), 68-79. https://www.doi.org/10.4103/CJRM.CJRM_43_20

Bacsu, J., O’Connell, M. E., Poole, L., Wighton, M., Sivananthan, S., & Webster, C. (2021). A scoping review of COVID-19 experiences of people living with dementia. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 112, 400-411. https://doi.org/10.17269/s41997-021-00500-z

Bacsu, J., O’Connell, M. E., Cammer, A., Grewal, K., Green, S., Poole, L., Azizi, M., Sivananthan, S., & Spiteri, R. J. (2021). Using Twitter to understand the COVID-19 experiences of people living with dementia: Infodemiology study. JMIR, 23(2), e26254. https://doi.org/10.2196/26254

O'Connell, M. E., Vellani, S., O’Rourke, H. M., Robertson, S., & McGilton, K. S. (2021). Going from 0 to 100 in remote dementia research: A practical guide. JMIR, 23(1), e24098. https://doi.org/10.2196/24098 

Kosteniuk, J., Morgan, D., Elliot, V., Froehlich Chow, A., Bayly, M., Watson, E., Osman, M., Acan Osman, B., O’Connell, M. E., Kirk, A., Stewart, N., Cammer, A., & Innes, A. (2021). A scoping review of care trajectories across multiple settings for persons with dementia. Canadian Journal on Aging1-25. https://www.doi.org/10.1017/S0714980821000167

Bacsu, J., Johnson, S., O’Connell, M. E., Viger, M., Muhajarine, N., Hackett, P., Jeffery, B., Novik, N., & McIntosh, T. (2021). Stigma reduction interventions of dementia: A scoping review. Canadian Journal on Aging, 41(2). https://doi.org/10.1017/S0714980821000192

Geddes, M., R., O'Connell, M. E., Fisk, J. D., Gauthier, S., Camicioli, R., & Ismail, Z. (2020). Remote cognitive and behavioral assessment: Report of the Alzheimer society of Canada task force on dementia care best practices for COVID-19. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring, 12(1), e12111. https://doi.org/10.1002/dad2.12111.

Jacklin, K., Pitawanakwat, K., Blind, M., O'Connell, M. E., Walker, J., Lemieux, A., & Warry, W. (2020). Developing the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment for use with Indigenous older Anishnaabe adults in Ontario, Canada. Innovation in Aging, 4(4), igaa038. https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igaa038 

Gould, B., O'Connell, M. E., MacQuarrie, C., & Bourassa, C. (2020). Mental wellness needs for two Indigenous communities: Bases for culturally competent clinical services. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne. https://doi.org/10.1037/cap0000247

Rutter, E. C., Tyas, S. L., Maxwell, C. J., Law, J., O’Connell, M. E., Konnert, C., & Oremus, M., (2020). Association between functional social support and cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults: A protocol for a systematic review. BMJ Open, 10(4), e037301. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037301

Morgan, D., Kostenuik, J., O’Connell, M. E., Stewart, N., & Kirk, A. (2020). Rural dementia research in Canada. In A. Innes, D. Morgan, & J. Farmer (Eds), Remote and rural dementia care: Implications for research, policy and practice. Chicago, IL: Policy Press.

Ursenbach, J., O’Connell, M. E., Kirk, A., & Morgan, D. (2020). Evidence for measurement invariance of the SF-12 across gender and metropolitan influence zone in a secondary care population. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 18(91), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12955-020-01318-y

Wong, J., Kirk, A., Perlett, L., Karunanayake, C., Morgan, D., & O’Connell, M. E. (2020). Characteristics of young-onset and late-onset dementia patients at a remote memory clinic. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1017/cjn.2020.8

Oremus, M., Tyas, S. L., Maxwell, C. J., Konnert, C., O’Connell, M. E., & Law, J. (2020). Social support availability is positively associated with memory in persons aged 45–85 years: A cross-sectional analysis of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 86, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archger.2019.103962

Tuokko, H., Griffith, L. E., Simard, M., Taler, V., O’Connell, M. E., Voll, S., Kadlec, H, Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., & Raina, P. (2020). The Canadian longitudinal study on aging as a platform for exploring cognition in an aging population. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 34(1), 174-203. https://doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2018.1551575

Scerbe, A., O’Connell, M. E., Astell, A., Morgan, D., Kosteniuk, J. & DesRoches, A. (2019). Digital tools for delivery of dementia education for health-care providers: a systematic review. Educational Gerontology, 45(11), 681-699, https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2019.1687149

Starblanket, D., O’Connell, M. E., Gould, B., Bourassa, C., Ferguson, M., & Jardine, M. (2019). Defining technology user needs of Indigenous older adults requiring dementia care. Gerontechnology, 18(3), 142-155. https://doi.org/10.4017/gt.2019.18.3.002.00

Lovo, S. Harrison, L., O’Connell, M. E., Trask, C., & Bath, B. (2019). Experience of patients and practitioners with a team and technology approach to chronic back disorder management. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 12, 855–869. https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S208888

Morgan, D., Kosteniuk, J., O'Connell, M. E., Kirk, A., Stewart, N. J., Seitz, D., Bayly, M., Froehlich Chow, A., Elliot, V., Daku, J., Hack, T., Hoium, F., Kennett-Russill, D., & Sauter, K. (2019). Barriers and facilitators to implementation of a rural primary health care intervention for dementia. BMC Health Services Research, 19, 709-719. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-019-4548-5

Ursenbach, J., O'Connell, M. E., Neiser, J., Tierney, M. C., Morgan, D., Kosteniuk, J., & Spiteri, R. J. (2019). Scoring algorithms for a computer-based cognitive screening tool: An illustrative example of overfitting machine learning approaches and the impact on estimates of classification accuracy. Psychological Assessment, 31(11), 1377-1382. https://doi.org/10.1037/pas0000764

Oremus, M., Konnert, C., Law, J., Maxwell, C. J., O’Connell, M. E., & Tyas, S. L. (2019). Social support and cognitive function in middle-and older-aged adults: descriptive analysis of CLSA tracking data. European Journal of Public Health, 29(6), 1084-1089. https://doi.org/0.1093/eurpub/ckz047

Bayly, M., Morgan, D., Kosteniuk, J., Elliot, V., Froelich Chow, A., Peacock, S., McLean, A., & O’Connell, M. E. (2019). Protocol for a systematic review on interventions for caregivers of persons with mild cognitive impairment and early dementia: Does early stage intervention improve caregiver well-being and ability to provide care? BMJ open, 9(5), e028441. http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028441

O'Connell, M. E., Tuokko, H.,Kadlec, H., Griffith, L. E., Simard, M., Taler, V., Voll, S., Thompson, M. E., Panyivan, I., Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., & Raina, P. (2019). Normative comparison standards for measures of cognition in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA): Does applying sample weights make a difference? Psychological Assessment, 31(9), 1081-91. doi: 10.1037/pas0000730. 

Morgan, D., Kosteniuk, J., Seitz, D., O’Connell, M. E., Kirk, A., Stewart, N. J., Holroyd-Leduc, J., Daku, J., Hack, T., Hoium, F., Kennett-Russill, D., & Sauter, K. (2019). A five-step approach for developing and implementing a Rural Primary Health Care Model for Dementia: A community–academic partnership. Primary Health Care Research & Development, 20(29). https://doi.org/10.1017/S1463423618000968

Robertson, O., Kirk. A., Karunanayake, C., Morgan, D., & O’Connell, M. E. (2019). Women and men presenting to a Rural and Remote Memory Clinic in Saskatchewan, Canada show similar cognitive findings for dementia. Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders, 34(2), 183-187. https://doi.org/10.1097/WAD.0000000000000307

Oremus, M., Konnert, C., Law, J., Maxwell, C. J., O’Connell, M. E., & Tyas, S. L. (2019). Social support and cognitive function in middle-and older-aged adults: descriptive analysis of CLSA tracking data. European Journal of Public Health, 29(6), 1084-1089. DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckz047

Lee, S., Kirk, A., Kirk, E. A., Karunanayake, C., O’Connell, M. E., & Morgan, D. (2019). Factors associated with having a will, power of attorney, and advanced healthcare directive in patients presenting to a rural and remote memory clinic. Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences, 46(3), 319-330. https://doi.org/0.1017/cjn.2019.10

Blackberry, I., Wilding, C., Perkins, D., Greenhill, J., Farmer, J., Bauer, M., Winbolt, M., Morley, C., O’Connell, M. E, & Morgan, D. (December 2018/January 2019). Vitural dementia-friendly rural communities. Australian Journal of Dementia Care, 7(6), pp. 11-13.

Cheng, J., O'Connell, M. E., & Wormith, J. S. (2019). Bridging neuropsychology and forensic psychology: Executive function overlaps with the central eight risk and need factors. Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 63(4), 558-573https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X18803818 

Selected publications

O’Connell, M. E., Tuokko, H., Voll, S., Simard, M., Griffith, L. E., Taler, V., Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., & Raina, P. (2017). An evidence-based approach to the creation of normative data: Base rates of impaired scores within a brief neuropsychological battery argue for age corrections, but against corrections for medical conditions. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 31(6-7)1188-1203https://doi.org/10.1080/13854046.2017.1349931

Jones, L., Jacklin, K., & O'Connell, M. E. (2017). Development and use of health-related technologies in Indigenous communities: Critical review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(7), e256ttps://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.7520

O'Connell, M. E., Crossley, M., Cammer, A., Morgan, D. G., Allingham, W.*, Cheavins, B.*, Dalziel, D.*, Lemire, M.*, Mitchell, S.* & Morgan, E.* (2014). Development and evaluation of a telehealth videoconferenced support group for rural spouses of individuals diagnosed with atypical early-onset dementias. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 13(3), 382-95. https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301212474143 * caregiver participant collaborators

O’Connell, M. E., Tuokko, H., & Kadlec, H. (2011). Demographic corrections appear to compromise classification accuracy for severely skewed cognitive tests. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 33(4), 422-31. https://doi.org/10.1080/13803395.2010.532114

O'Connell, M. E. & Tuokko, H. (2010). Age corrections and dementia classification accuracy. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 25(2), 126-138. https://doi.org/10.1093/arclin/acp111

Mateer, C. A., Sira, C. S., & O’Connell, M. E. (2005). Putting Humpty Dumpty together again: The importance of integrating cognitive and emotional interventions. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 20(1), 62-75.

O’Connell, M. E., Mateer, C. A., & Kerns, K. A. (2003). Prosthetic systems for addressing problems with initiation: Guidelines for selection, training, and measuring efficacy. NeuroRehabilitation, 18(1), 9-20. https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-2003-18103

Selected Student Publications

Enright, J., O’Connell, M. E., Branger, C., Kirk, A. & Morgan, D. (2018). Identity, relationship quality, and subjective burden in caregivers of persons with dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice. doi.org/10.1177/1471301218808607 

O’Connell, M. E., Scerbe, A., Wiley, K., Gould, B., Carter, J., Bourassa, C., Morgan, D. Jacklin, K., & Warry, W. (2018). Anticipated needs and worries about maintaining independence of rural/remote older adults: Opportunities for technology development in the context of the double digital divide. Gerontechnology, 17(3), 126-136.

Branger, C., O'Connell, M. E., & Peacock, S. (2018). Protocol for a meta-integration: Investigating positive aspects of caregiving in dementia. BMJ Open, 8, e021215. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-021215

Burton, R. & O'Connell, M. E. (2018). Telehealth rehabilitation for cognitive impairment: Randomized controlled feasibility trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research Protocols, 7(2): e43. doi.org/10.2196/resprot.9420

O'Connell, M. E., Gould, B., Ursenbach, J., Enright, J., & Morgan, D. (2018). Reliable change and minimum clinically important difference (MCID) of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychology Status (RBANS) in a heterogeneous dementia sample: Support for reliable change methods but not the MCID. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult. doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2017.1413575

Branger, C., Enright, J., O'Connell, M. E., & Morgan, D. (2018). Variance in caregiver burden predicted by patient behaviours versus neuropsychological profile. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 25(5), 441-447. DOI: 10.1080/23279095.2017.1323754

Jodouin, K. A., O'Connell, M. E., & Morgan, D. (2017). RBANS memory percent retention: No evidence of incremental validity beyond RBANS scores for diagnostic classification of mild cognitive impairment and dementia and for prediction of daily function. Applied Neuropsychology: Adult, 24(5), 420-428. doi.org/10.1080/23279095.2016.1189425

Burton, R., O'Connell, M. E., & Morgan, D. (2016). Exploring interest and goals for videoconferencing delivered cognitive rehabilitation with rural individuals with mild cognitive impairment or dementia. NeuroRehabilitation, 39(2), 329-42. DOI: 10.3233/NRE-161364

Branger, C., O'Connell, M. E., & Morgan, D (2016). Factor analysis of the 12-item Zarit Burden Interview in caregivers of persons diagnosed with dementia. Journal of Applied Gerontology, 35(5), 489-507. DOI:10.1177/0733464813520222

Branger, C., Burton, R., O'Connell, M. E., Stewart, N., & Morgan, D. (2016). Coping with cognitive impairment and dementia: Rural caregivers' perspectives. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice1, 5(4), 814-31. DOI: 10.1177/1471301214539956

Enright, J., O'Connell, M. E., MacKinnon, S., & Morgan, D. (2015). Predictors of completion of executive functioning tasks in a memory clinic dementia sample. Applied Neuropsychology. DOI:10.1080/23279095.2014.992070

Burton, R., Enright, J., O'Connell, M. E., Lanting, S., & Morgan, D. (2014). RBANS embedded measures of suboptimal effort in dementia: Effort Scale has a lower failure rate than the Effort Index. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. DOI: 10.1093/arclin/acu070

Active Grants

Principal Applicant (Equivalent of nominated PI): Raina, P. Co-Applicant (equivalent of Co-PI): Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S, Balion, CM., Griffith, L. Liu-Ambrose, T, Smith, E, Surette M,
Collaborators (Equivalent of Co-Investigator):: Hogan, D, Menec, V, Taler, V, Bartha, R, Duchesne, S, Noseworthy, M, Hoge, R, Descoteaux, M, MacKay, A Tam, R, Lim, A, Beauchamp, M,, McIlroy, W,  O’Connell, M, E. Thompson, M, Wu, C, McNicholas, P, Corbeil, J. Cossette, B, Costa, A. CLSA Healthy Brains, Healthy Aging Initiative. Weston Family Foundation. $12,240,322.46.

Principal co-applicants: Vedel, I, Arsenault-Lapierre, G. Co-applicants: Ben Gaid, N., Bergman, H. Bethell, J., Bronskill, S., Bui, T., Coté, L., Couturier, Y., Draper, P., Dumaresq, D., Eagleson, H., Fernandez Loughlin, R., Gagliardi, A., Godard-Sebillotte, C., Henein, M., Khanassov, V., Kosteniuk, J., Labelle, P., Lea, P., Maclagan, L., McAiney, C., Miskucza, K., Morgan, D., Myers Barnette, K., O’Connell, M. E., O’Connor, D., Pasquin, J., Peters, J., Quail, J., Rojas-Rozo, L., Seitz, D., Sivananthan, S., Smith, E., Sourial, N., Trépanier, T., Wighton, M. B., & Wilchesky, M. (2021-2024). Understanding and improving the care of men and women with dementia across four Canadian provinces during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. $90,000. Women, Sex, Gender & Dementia (WSGD) program from Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) grant.

Gagnon, M., Alberts, N., Gordon, J., Mandryk, R., O'Connell, M. E., Risling, T., Stinson, J., & Smolyakova, A. M. (Patient Partner). (April 2021 – Mar 2024). Development and pilot evaluation of a mindfulness smartphone app for adolescents with dysmenorrhea. $184,168 (CAD). CIHR ECIs in Maternal, Reproductive, Child & Youth Health Operating Grant, 2020.

O’Connell, M. E., & Co-Is. McIlduff, C., Akan, N. & Contributors Boheme, G. & Peigan, B. (1 March 2021-28 Feb 2022). Culturally Safe Caregiver Support Groups for Caregivers of Indigenous Peoples Living with Dementia. $50,000. SHRF Solutions Innovation Grant /Alzheimer Society of SK.

Principal Investigator: Raina P. Co-Investigators: Hofer, S, Hogan, D, Krigolson, O, Lathrop, G, Liu-Ambrose, T, MacDonald, M, Menec, V, Wishart, D, Griffith, L, Taler, V, Wister, A, Cossette, B, Richards, B, Kobor, M, Balion, C, Pare, G, Wilson, J, Xia, J, O’Connell, M. E., Smith, E, Vrkljan, B, Beauchamp, M, Dumas, M, Quesnel-Vallee, A, McGrail, K, Wolfson C., Kirkland, S. Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA): A Platform for Interdisciplinary Research. Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), $9,578,643.

NPIs Raina, P., Griffith, L., Costa, A; Co-Principal Investigators: Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., Hogan, D., Smith, E., O’Connell, M. E., Taler, V.; Co-Investigators: Cossette, B., Hofer, S., Liu-Ambrose, T., Menec, V., Mugford, G., Wister, A., Wu, C., Thompson, M. Ascertaining Dementia and Surveillance of Risk Factors in the CLSA. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020-2024. $999,526.

Walker, J., Bourassa, C., & O'Connell, M. E. National Indigenous Dementia Surveillance Initiative Feasibility Study. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2020-21. $142.490.

O’Connell, M. E. & Co-PI Haase, K., with Knowledge User Poole, L., Co-Is Peacock, S., Holtslander, L. Cosco, T., & Cammer, A. Socialization Intervention and Mental Health Monitoring for Older Adults in the Era of Physical Distancing due to COVID-19. Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery, 2020-2021. $199,577.

Vedel, I. NPI. Co-PIs Godard-Sebillotte, C., Sourial, N., Couturier, Y., Bronskill, S., McAiney, C., Morgan, D., Seitz, D, Wilchesky, M. Co-Is: Bergman, H., O’Brien, N., Khanassov, V., Bosson-Rieutort, D., Kosteniuk, J., O’Connell, M. E., Smith, E., & Quail, J. Improving the care of older adults living with dementia across Canada during the COVID pandemic: a mixed methods study to inform policy and practice. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grant: COVID-19 May 2020 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity. 2020-2021. $602,522.

O’Connell, M. E., Dissemination of Virtual Connection Information and Resources for Older Adults in the Era of COVID-19. SHRF Research Connections: COVID-19 Rapid Response. 2020. $9,993.40.

O’Connell, M. E., Bracken, J., Morgan, D., Kirk, A., Cammer, C., Panyivan, I., Stewart, N., Parrot, E., & Mazurkewich, G. (2020-2022). Rural and Remote Memory Clinic 2.0: An Integrated Approach to Accessible Dementia Care. $180,000. SHRF/SCPOR SPROUT Grant.

O'Connell, M. E., Taler, V., Gicas, K., Griffith, L., Wolfson, C., Kirkland, S., & Raina, P. Facilitating interpretation of cognitive impairment: The development of reliable changes scores for the cognitive measures in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. 2019-2021. $218,025. CIHR Project Grant.

O’Connell, M. E., Co-PI Morgan, D. & Co-Is Kosteniuk, J., Kirk, A., Stewart, N., Cammer, A., Dal Bello-Haas, V., D.; Astell, A., Bier, N., Boeheme, G., Bracken, J., Haase, K., Herron, R., Hadjistravopoulos, T., Holroyd-Leduc, J., Holtslander, L., Hunter, P., McWilliams, L., Micheal, J., Naglie, G., Peacock. S., Rapoport, M., Seitz, D., Skinner, M., & Walker, J. (1 April 2019 - 31 March 2024). Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) Phase II, Team 15: Issues in Dementia Care for Rural Populations. $683,300 (from CCNA PHASE II Partners - $333,300 Alzheimer Society of Canada, $50,000 CABHI, & $200,000 SHRF).

Walker, J. (Principal Investigator), Crowshoe, L., Boeheme, G., O’Connell, M. E., Cherktow, H., Hogan, D., McKenna, B., Patterson, C., Pitawanakwat, B, St. George- Hyslop, P. (Co-Investigators), Pitawanakwat, K. (Collaborator). (April 2019 – March 2024).Team 18: Indigenous Dementia Care, $1,000,000 (from CCNA PHASE II Partner – CIHR IIPH).

Duchesne, S., Hudon, C., Iaria, G., & O'Connell, M. E. Ensuring mission success and optimal aging: disentangling the impact of simulated microgravity on brain health. 2019-21. $133,245. CIHR Operating Grant - Understanding the Health Impact of Inactivity.

Walker J (NPA), Bourassa C, Crowshoe L, Jacklin K. Co-Applicants: Andrew M, Funnell S, Hogan D, McElhaney J, O'Connell M. E., Warry W. Collaborators: Blind M, Flicker L, Loguidice D, Smith K, Warren L. Knowledge Users: Beaudin R, Boehme G, Eshkakogan N, McKenna B, Otowadjiwan J, Pitawanakwat K, Wabano MJ, Williamson P. Validation of the Canadian Indigenous Cognitive Assessment Tool in three provinces. 2016-2021. $500,000. CIHR Operating Grant - Challenge of Dementia in Indigenous Populations.

Morgan, D. (Principal Investigator), Kosteniuk, J. (Co-Investigator), O’Connell, M. E. (Co-Investigator), Kirk, A. (Co-Investigator), Stewart, N. (Co-Investigator), Acan Osman, B., Bourassa, C., Bracken, J., Dal Bello-Haas, V., Holroyd-Leduc, J., Innes, A., Jacklin, K., Malloy-Weir, L., Osgood, N., Osman, M., Quail, J., Rohatinsky, N., & Seitz, D. (Collaborators). Design and evaluation of integrated primary health care practices for dementia in rural and remote settings. $2,336,491. Foundation Grant, Canadian Institutes of Health Research. July 2016 – June 2023. M. O’Connell leads Project 2 – RESPECT – Remote Specialist-to-Primary care support Enriched Care through Technology.

Teaching & Supervision

PhD Supervision

Meghan Flath - Meghan is investigating use of pet therapy/pet sharing as a method for social inclusion and combatting loneliness for older adults including those with MCI or dementiaShe held a CIHR MA award ($17,500 for 2018-2019) and she currently holds a SSHRC doctoral award ($60,000 for 2019-2022).

Karl Grewal - Karl entered the graduate program in September 2018 and is focusing on intraindividual variation in neuropsychological performance. He held a CIHR MA award ($17,500 for 2017-2018) and he is currently funded as part of CCNA. His PhD work is focused on augmentation of remote cognitive rehabilitation with use of in-home technology. What will be specifically examined is if remote cognitive rehabilitation can be integrated with off-the-shelf technology to help people living with dementia improve their quality of life. This will be done as a series of case studies, to allow maximal attention to individual needs and intervention fidelity.

August Kortzman - August entered the graduate program in September 2017. He held a CIHR MA award ($17,500 for 2017-2018) and a University of Saskatchewan Dean’s fellowship ($66,000 for 2017-2020). He is currently funded by Dr. Morgan’s CIHR Foundation Grant to the RaDAR team. He is currently working on a project on a social network intervention for caregivers of persons with dementia for his dissertation beginning with a systematic review of social network interventions across all populations. He has a manuscript under review on measurement of caregiver distress, and is collecting data for a project on caregivers of persons with young onset dementias.

Jake Ursenbach - Jake is exploring computerized cognitive testing with algorithmic interpretations as one method of remote case based rural primary care provider support as part of REmote Specialist-to-Primary care support Enriched Care through Technology (RESPECT). He held a University of Saskatchewan Dean’s fellowship ($66,000 for 2017-2020). He held a CIHR MA award ($17,500 for 2017-2018). His manuscript on an interpretive algorithm for a computerized cognitive test is under review, he is conducting a systematic review of remote neuropsychological assessment measures as part of his dissertation, he has an additional manuscript on the measurement properties of a quality of life measure in caregivers, and he is and examining the psychometric properties of several psychological scales using data collected from Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.

Andrea Scerbe - Andrea is exploring technology-based methods for remotely delivering dementia education to rural primary care providers, as part of REmote Specialist-to-Primary care support Enriched Care through Technology (RESPECT). She held a fellowship from the Team 20 of the CCNA of $20,000/year (2016-2019) and a CCHSA Founding Chair Award.

Benjamin Gould - Ben is exploring user needs for technology to support aging well in First Nations communities in PEI. For this he held a University of Saskatchewan Dean’s fellowship ($66,000 2015-2018) and doctoral support from AGE-WELL (AGE-WELL a Networks Centre of Excellence for $11,000/year (2015-2018). Ben's publications are listed in the publications section, and he is currently working with communities in PEI exploring mental wellness needs and how technology might address unmet mental wellness needs in a culturally-safe manner. In addition he is working on a project detailing community-engagement for Indigenous research from the perspective of a community member with one First Nations community but as an outsider with another First Nations community.

Post-Doctorate Supervision - Dr. Juanita-Dawne Bascu. Dr. Bascu is working on the caregivers and COVID projects for the team, but when these are complete she will help with the micro-learning for PHC providers on dementia.

Completed PhD Supervision

Camille Branger - Camille explored positive experiences reported by informal caregivers of persons with dementia using a novel mixed meta integration approach with a subsequent manuscript on case studies. For this work, Camille held an Alzheimer Society of Canada Doctoral Award worth $66,000 (2015-2018). She completed her predoctoral residency in Calgary at Alberta Health Services (2018-2019). Camille's publications are listed in the publications section. Camille is currently in private practice in clinical psychology and neuropsychology Edmonton, Alberta.

Rachel Burton - Rachel investigated the use of cognitive rehabilitation to improve the everyday function of individuals with early stage Alzheimer's Disease. She studied the feasibility of delivering cognitive rehabilitation to families in rural and remote areas using telehealth videoconferencing. She also examined neuropsychological predictors of activities of daily living. For this work, Rachel held an Alzheimer Society of Canada Doctoral award worth $66,000 (2012-2015). Rachel completed her pre-doctoral residency in clinical psychology at The Ottawa Hospital (2015-2016), and currently holds a position as a clinical psychologist in Saskatoon. Rachel's publications are listed in the publications section.

Joe Enright - Joe researched the use of Reminiscence Therapy as a potential intervention to help reduce burden experienced by family caregivers of persons with dementia. He evaluated reminiscence with caregivers, and also adaptation of the program for delivery through telehealth videoconferencing. He also examined identity theory, intimacy, caregiver burden and the function of reminiscence. For this work, Joe has held a PHARE fellowship worth $44,000 (2013-2015) and a TVN (a NCE) Fellowship worth $100,000 (2014-2016). Joe completed his pre-doctoral residency in the adult neuropsychology stream at London Health Sciences Consortium (LHSC; 2015-2016), and a post-doc in clinical neuropsychology at LHSC, and he is currently in private practice in clinical neuropsychology. Joe's publications are listed in the publications section.

Completed Post-Doctorate Supervision

Dr. Ivan Panyavin – applied research in remote dementia care. Current position clinical staff with RRMC and its various iterations.

 

Undergraduate Level 

Undergraduate honour’s thesis - Fahyad Khan. This is co-supervision with Karl Grewal. Neuropsychological test construct consistency with items from the Canadian Cognitvie Indigenous Assessment (CICA) tool.

Staff supervision

Clinician - Dr. Ivan Panyavin has continued to be actively involved with running the virtual Rural and Remote Memory Clinic (vRRMC), as well as the RRMC2.0 operations, providing diagnostic neuropsychological services to residents of rural Saskatchewan. He also continued to deliver individualized empirically derived treatment for chronic sleep disturbance, as well as cognitive rehabilitation services for individuals with cognitive impairment and their care partners. Dr. Panayvin is in the process of getting registered with the SK College of Psychologists and works under Dr. O'Connell's supervision in the RRMC and the RRMCi.

Research Coordinator - Shoshana Green has been part of the team since September 2020, and manages general operations of the O’Connell lab as well as numerous other items. She manages schedules and timelines for various components of the O’Connell lab and has a key collaborative role in research fund monitoring and maintenance. Shoshana has an instrumental role in coordinating the functions of the lab and is a key liaison on the behalf of Dr. O’Connell.

Research Assistant - Rory Gowda-Sookochoff – Rory first came into the lab to assist Ms. Green with research fund budgeting and projections, with a finance background. Currently, she assists with various administrative functions and research items.

Research Assistant Erin Leeder - Erin assists with research functions in the O’Connell lab, providing support in technology evaluation work and literature reviews.

Research

Aging Alzheimer Disease Dementia Frontotemporal Dementia Health Memory Neuropsychology Psychometrics Rural Technology Telemedicine

Clinical neuropsychology assessment and interventions. Clinical and research emphasis on individuals and families struggling with a dementia diagnosis. Current programs of research include neuropsychological measurement relevant to dementia and evaluation of telehealth for caregiver support, exercise interventions, and cognitive rehabilitation.

Education & Training

PhD University of Victoria, Clinical Neuropsychology Stream