Congratulations to Dr. Emma Morton on receiving the Banting Fellowship!

July 16, 2021
Congratulations to Dr. Emma Morton on receiving the Banting Fellowship!

Congratulations to Dr. Morton!

We’re thrilled to announce that Dr. Emma Morton has been chosen as a recipient for one of the highly competitive 2020-2021 Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships! These prestigious fellowships, awarded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), support emerging academics in conducting research that contributes to Canada’s economic, social, and research growth. Emma’s application was one of the 23 chosen out of 225 submissions, which speaks to the excellence of her research and the impact of her work.

Emma’s proposal is titled, ““Improving quality of life in bipolar disorder through digital health interventions.” This project will be part of the overall “Bipolar Bridges” project, which aims to develop a smartphone app to support quality of life for people with bipolar disorder.

Emma’s research will:

1) Develop a more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between quality of life, mood symptoms, and other psychosocial variables, which is needed for improved mental health interventions.

While we can improve quality of life by treating bipolar symptoms, there is research which shows that people living with mood disorders may continue to experience a degree of poor quality of life and functioning, even after symptoms improve. This makes it important to understand what other variables, in addition to symptom change, will help people optimise their quality of life. Emma and the Bipolar Bridges team will use data collected during the app evaluation project to model predictors of improved quality of life. Emma will also interview app users to find out what parts of the intervention helped improve their quality of life.

2) Capitalise on the potential of apps to improve quality of life.

For a mental health app to be truly effective, people need to want to and be able to use it in their day-to-day lives. It’s important to understand what users are looking for with mental health apps, how they interact with apps, and what factors encourage people to keep using apps. On the Bipolar Bridges project, Emma will lead the qualitative component of the app’s beta testing to investigate what keeps users engaged.

Congratulations to Dr. Morton on receiving this prestigious award!

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