Opportunities - PAUSE: Preventing medication complications during AcUte illness through Symptom Evaluation and sick day guidance

Preventing medication complications during AcUte illness through Symptom Evaluation and sick day guidance (PAUSE)

University of Alberta, University of Calgary



People with conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure often take medications that protect them from complications; yet, these same medications may be harmful during times of illness (such as the ‘flu’ or COVID-19). Guidelines recommend that healthcare providers give patients specific instruction to temporarily stop these medications during such illnesses. Unfortunately many patients either do not receive this instruction, or do not remember it when they get sick – and many patients may go to the emergency department and need to be hospitalized for low blood sugars, low blood pressure, and kidney damage because the medications are not stopped. After medications are stopped, there is also a point where they should be safely restarted; these instructions are often also missed, and can lead to high blood pressure, high blood sugars, and fluid build up.

We want to work with patients and providers to understand their barriers in managing their medications while they are sick, and to understand their needs for further guidance. We will use this feedback to work with an established software developer to create a new mobile health intervention (PAUSE) that will be designed to provide patients with personalized advice on how to manage their medications during times of sickness.

Over the next four years, our team plans to test health innovations and interventions that aim to improve care, safety and outcomes for people with three common and closely related chronic diseases: heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

The PAUSE project is specifically developing an e-mobile intervention for a phone or tablet that will provide patients with guidance on what to do when they are sick so they can avoid severe complications. Once the app is developed and tested it will be rolled out through a randomized controlled trial.


Roles and Responsibilities

We are seeking a patient partner with lived experience with heart failure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease to join our patient-oriented health research team that includes researchers from both the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta. Each team member comes with unique perspectives and experience and we would expect the patient research partner  to contribute unique patient perspective, insights, and advice and feedback on aspects of the development and content of the study.


Time Commitment

As a patient partner, you would attend a one-hour ZOOM project team meeting monthly iniitially. This project is part of a larger randomized control trial so we would appreciate if the patient partner could continue for 3-4 years. 

Once the detailed work is complete, the meetings may be on a quarterly basis or as determined by the entire team.

We would appreciate a patient partner starting as soon as possible.



The patient partner would contribute to Zoom meetings from their home so there is no travel expected. However, a computer with reliable internet connection and ZOOM capabities is necessary.

A stipend would be offered for each meeting attended.


For more information or to apply, please contact:

Eleanor Benterud