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Expertise

Equity, diversity, inclusion and Sex and Gender-based Analysis

Consulting on best practices.

The Unité de soutien SSA Québec has established a scientific sub-committee responsible for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Sex and Gender Analysis (EDI-GSBA). Professor Sara Ahmed (McGill University) and Professor Amédé Gogovor (Université Laval) have been confirmed as joint nominees to head the committee.

Our range of services is under development

Key questions on sex and gender

When we talk about sex, we are generally referring to biological sex, defined by physiological characteristics such as chromosomes, hormones, gene expression and the reproductive system. This generally corresponds to the sex assigned at birth, which can be found on official documents. However, some people are born with physical characteristics that do not fit a binary definition of sex (female or male) or have variations in their sexual development, particularly at puberty. These individuals, who are referred to as intersex or developmentally disabled, are generally assigned a binary sex at birth, particularly in countries or regions that do not allow for the assignment of a non-binary sex at birth (Canada is one such country). In research, sex assigned at birth is most often included, as it is easier to measure because of its binary quality.

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Gender is a socio-cultural construct that is composed of several dimensions, such as gender identity, gender relations, gender roles, institutionalized gender, etc. It may or may not correspond to the sex (assigned at birth or biologically) of the individual. It may or may not correspond to the sex (assigned at birth or biological) of the individual. Gender is beginning to be measured more frequently in studies, but the diversity of methods used and the evolution of definitions make its interpretation difficult. It is essential to move away from stereotypical characteristics associated with binary genders (femininity and masculinity) in order to measure the experience and perception of individuals without tainting the results with spatial and temporal bias.

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A growing corpus of literature that has evaluated both concepts highlights the fact that gender is as relevant or more relevant to measure in research than sex assigned at birth (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2022). The fact that we rarely have access to the true biological sex of study participants makes the use of sex assigned at birth common practice. This may not be representative of participants’ biological sex, which is still medically sensitive, or of their life experience. Measuring gender allows for the identification of patterns that are not present when measuring sex at birth alone and provides a deeper, more realistic dimension to the results. A joint measurement of sex and gender is therefore ideal.

Two tools are proposed by our team: one corresponds to a self-reported measure of perceived gender to be integrated before data collection, while the other corresponds to a method for creating a composite gender index after data collection when only sex assigned at birth has been measured. The proposed tools are presented in two different papers:

  1. How do we indirectly measure gender in human research? Presentation of a guide for creating a composite gender score (Guide in french)
  2. Measuring gender in human research, a new adapted questionnaire (available in french and english)
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The Unité de Soutien SSA Québec wants its website to be accessible to people with disabilities and physical restrictions. Given this concern, it has designed its site to comply with many Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). For more information

Our communities of practice

Patient partners community expériences

The expériences community includes patient partners actively involved in the governance of the patient partnership and strategy as well as directly in research teams. It brings together various members of the Québec health and social services network, including researchers. This initiative comes from the Partnership Axis of the Unité de soutien SSA Québec and the Centre of Excellence in Partnership with Patients and the Public (CEPPP).

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Community of fellows

This community gathers FRQ fellows who are participating in the complementary training and capacity building program on patient-oriented research, the learning health system, trajectories of care and the quintuple aim, in partnership with the Fonds de recherche du Québec.

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Guide to inclusive and epicene writing (in french)

This guide is intended to help us be an inclusive organization and to optimize our communications. It is intended to be practical and easy to use, and is intended for use by the entire community of the Unité de soutien SSA Québec. The adoption of this guide is part of the desire to ensure equal representation of people in the discourse of patient-oriented research (POR) in french in Quebec. We encourage you to send your questions and comments by email to ssaquebec@usherbrooke.ca.

News

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Quebecers believe that the well-being of health care teams and science should guide health care decisions above all else

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Read more about Quebecers believe that the well-being of health care teams and science should guide health care decisions above all else

Dr. Anaïs Lacasse creates a gender index thanks to TorSaDe

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Read more about Dr. Anaïs Lacasse creates a gender index thanks to TorSaDe

Webinar on ENGAGE: a project to involve low-literacy patients in research

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Read more about Webinar on ENGAGE: a project to involve low-literacy patients in research

The Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec announces its COVID-19 services

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Read more about The Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec announces its COVID-19 services

Deliverables and tools

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Creation guide for a composite gender score

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Read more about Creation guide for a composite gender score

Questionnaire for measuring human gender in research

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Read more about Questionnaire for measuring human gender in research

ENGAGE: participatory methods and visual and auditory tools to get vulnerable populations involved in research

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Read more about ENGAGE: participatory methods and visual and auditory tools to get vulnerable populations involved in research

Rapid and Rigorous TransCultural Adaptation (RR-TCA) methods

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Read more about Rapid and Rigorous TransCultural Adaptation (RR-TCA) methods

Publications

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Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec has published its 2014–2021 activity report for the community

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Read more about Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec has published its 2014–2021 activity report for the community

Proper usage of sex and gender in studies of shared decision-making intervention: an assessment by Dr. Lionel Adisso and the Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec

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Read more about Proper usage of sex and gender in studies of shared decision-making intervention: an assessment by Dr. Lionel Adisso and the Unité de soutien SRAP du Québec

Our postdoctoral fellow Amédé Gogovor and his colleagues publish an analysis on the challenges and solutions of integrating sex and gender considerations in knowledge translation

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Read more about Our postdoctoral fellow Amédé Gogovor and his colleagues publish an analysis on the challenges and solutions of integrating sex and gender considerations in knowledge translation

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Find out what's a learning health system in 60 seconds

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Québec's health system

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Service request

When you apply for support from the Unité de soutien SSA Québec, you are taking part in the emergence of a learning health system (LHS). We offer three types of support: training, consultation and tools.

Team

Portrait of Bilkis Vissandjee.

Bilkis Vissandjee

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Portrait of Robert-Paul Juster.

Robert-Paul Juster

Sex and Gender Analysis

Portrait of Sara Ahmed.

Sara Ahmed

PREMs and PROMs

Portrait of Sonia Lussier.

Sonia Lussier

Codirection Patient partner – Axis Data to knowledge / Partnership branch of the SSA-RUISSS Mcgill team

Portrait of Tracie A Barnett.

Tracie A Barnett

Scientific codirection – Axis Data to knowledge / Manager – Partnership branch of the SSA-RUISSS team McGill

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