Welcome to the Alberta Strategy for Patient Oriented Research SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU)

AbSPORU is dedicated to transforming health outcomes in Alberta through Patient-Oriented Research (POR). 

POR actively engages patients and other stakeholders in research that focuses on patient-identified priorities and improves patient outcomes.

As we move forward with AbSPORU, we are concentrating on bridging the gaps among data, research evidence and health care practice. The collaborations between AbSPORU and AHS Strategic Clinical Networks™ (SCNs), Alberta Health, Alberta Innovates plus other learning health system proponents will continue to contribute to our collective success.

Our Alberta - Ursula Krohl Photography

Why is Patient-Oriented Research (POR) Important?

POR is a new direction in health research that requires meaningful and active collaboration of patients in studies that matter to them. This means more clearly focusing on patient-identified priorities and better patient-outcomes.

Patients participate in any or all phases of POR. Along with families, caregivers and communities many other stakeholders also participate in POR including researchers, students, clinicians as well as health and policy leaders.

Alberta needs POR teams that engage patients, have the skills and knowledge to carry out the research, as well as integrate the study findings into practice.

AbSPORU provides expertise in Data and Services, Capacity Development (Training), Patient Engagement and Knowledge Translation to support this important change.

Through Patient Oriented Research (POR) we contribute to transforming health research and services in Alberta and to improving patient outcomes. Watch for stories of our impact and successes featured on this website.

The AbSPORU focuses on four areas that enable our stakeholders to actively participate and engage in POR.

Data & Services

Many sources and types of health data are available in Alberta. The Data & Services Team facilitates access to these data as well as consultation services to support researchers in Patient-Oriented Research.

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Capacity Development & Events

The Capacity Development Team develop training and opportunities to build stakeholder capacity to engage in Patient-Oriented Research. Our POR stakeholders include patients, families, community partners, researchers, students, clinicians, and policy-makers.

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Patient Engagement

The Patient Engagement Team works with stakeholders to include patients at all stages of the research process  including to identify research priorities, conduct data collection and analysis as well as share results.

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Knowledge Translation

The Knowledge Translation Team works with stakeholders to develop knowledge translation strategies in their research plans and integrate research knowledge into practice.

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About Us

Learn more about our team, partners and funding


Resource Library

Learn more about a wide range of resources for people new to POR, as well as for those with more experience.

Alberta has “flattened” the COVID-19 curve, carefully managing the impact of the pandemic on Alberta’s health system by using real-time data and evidence to inform decisions. The Alberta SPOR SUPPORT Unit (AbSPORU) is working with the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) to undertake outbreak modelling, case reporting, and capacity planning, all being used to help coordinate health service operations and optimal patient care options. Jeff Bakal, Program Director, Provincial Research Data Services, discusses how the support provided by the AbSPORU Data Platform has helped the province manage its impressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to continue to read…

- AbSPORU Data Platform helping Alberta manage pandemic response

How is AbSPORU funded?

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) initiated a Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research SUPPORT Units across Canada. CIHR’s goals were to more directly involve patients and their families in determining priorities for health research as well as participating in the research itself.

AbSPORU is co-funded by CIHR and Alberta Innovates (AI). AI is a provincially funded corporation with a mandate to deliver 21st-century solutions to Albertans by building on our province’s health research and technology efforts in patient and health outcomes.