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Caren Rose, PhD Candidate

Supervisors: Dr. Charlyn Black and Dr. John S. Gill
Award: KRESCENT Allied Health Doctoral Scholarship
Institution: University of British Columbia
Year: 2010-2013

Caren Rose holds a master’s degree in statistics from Dalhousie University, has spent the past 6 years working as a biostatistician in the field of kidney transplantation, and is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. in health services research at the University of British Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Gill and Dr. Black. Kidney failure patients can be treated with dialysis or transplantation. Compared to patients treated with dialysis, transplant recipients live longer, have a higher quality of life and utilize fewer health care resources. Unfortunately, the supply of kidneys for transplantation does not meet demand.

Although living kidney donation is part of the solution, deceased donors remain the primary source of transplantable kidneys, and despite a strong willingness among Canadians to donate their organs there has been no increase in deceased organ donation in Canada over the last decade. To understand the disparity between the apparent intention to donate and the actual act of donation, accurate measures of deceased organ donation activity are needed. The proposed work will apply a unique statistical method to administrative data that is currently collected in all Canadian hospitals in order to estimate the number of individuals eligible for deceased donation and calculate the corresponding donor conversion rate (i.e., proportion of actual organ donors among eligible organ donors who die in hospital). Accurately ascertaining the potential for deceased organ donation and the observed conversion rates will inform strategies to increase deceased organ donation, ultimately improving the lives of patients with kidney failure.