22 May 2014 – Preparing to present at the Canadian Bioethics Society Annual Meeting

I will be presenting, on behalf of our research team based in Vancouver and Calgary, at the annual meeting of the Canadian Bioethics Society.

We have completed our the bulk of our pilot qualitative study on MUPS – Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms. We have interviewed both patients and physicians about their experiences of MUPS. We have transcribed and collected data from the interviews. We then analyzed the material and and have published one preliminary article, submitted another for publication and, are in the midst of writing 3 more articles.

The Canadian Bioethics Society will be meeting in Vancouver 28 -31 May 2014 at the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel. CBS will celebrate its 25th year of meeting and the theme is “Looking Back; Looking Forward.” Our session will take place in the 5F time slot on “Clinical Ethics- Workshop and Concurrent Session” on Friday 30 May 2014 at 4-5pm. I will present an overview of the work that both the Vancouver and Calgary sites have completed and, a broad summary of some of our findings and recommendations. Anyone who is interested in MUPS and the challenge of “uncertainty” in medical diagnoses and health care is welcome to attend. I’m looking forward to presenting and to hearing thoughts and responses from my colleagues and members of the audience.

The first year anniversary of our first publication will take in early July 2014. At that point, we will be allowed by our copyright agreement to post a link to the article on this website and thereby permit members of the public or participants of our study to have access to the paper: “Silos of Silence, Stress, and Suffering: Patient and Physician Experiences of MUPS and Diagnostic Uncertainty” in AJOB Neuroscience, 4(3): 3–8, 2013.

More generally, as each team member works on further analyses and publications, we are scheming about conducting further work in the area of MUPS. Ideally, we would like to establish or collaborate with clinics in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto in which we could conduct further research into MUPS and probe its effective management. We intend to seek CIHR funding as well as other sources of research and healthcare funding for this effort. Of course, if anyone knows of individuals, institutions or granting agencies who might be interested in our work, please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment to this post or by emailing me at: catkins@ucalgary.ca. I very much enjoy receiving your responses.

On a more personal note, I have moved departments within the University of Calgary and can now be found in the Department of Sociology. I continue to teach in the undergraduate Law and Society Program and teach and supervise students in the “Communication and Culture” graduate programs and will begin toe take on graduate students in Sociology as well. My supervisory and research interests are in the following areas: vulnerability and vulnerable populations; disability studies, human rights, bioethics, narrative and feminist scholarship. My email and telephone contacts remain the same.

I am grateful that the warm weather has finally arrived. I hope that we all have a temperate, healthy and prosperous spring!

Chloe G K Atkins

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