Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact

Donald J. Willison

BSc (Toronto), MSc (McMaster), SCD (Harvard)

Associate Professor (Part-time), Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact






Academic Interests

Dr. Willison’s current research interests include: pharmaceutical policy, and data privacy issues in health services research.

In the area of pharmaceutical policy, his research focuses on: how Western industrial countries are balancing the pharmaceutical cost-containment with access to needed medications and their interest in attracting or maintaining pharmaceutical R&D in their countries; the challenges associated with the patenting of genetic material; and the health and economic impact of policies to restrict reimbursement for coxib non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In the area of data privacy, Dr. Willison’s research focuses on: variation in how Research Ethics Boards address privacy, confidentiality, and security issues when reviewing research involving secondary use of personal information; public opinion as to the role of consent in the secondary use of personal information for health research, and the development and evaluation of a consent-based patient registry.

Selected Publications

  1. Willison DJ, Keshavjee KK, Nair K, Goldsmith C, Holbrook AM. Patient consent preferences for research use of family physicians’ electronic medical records. Results from interviews and a survey. BMJ 2003;326(7385):373-377
  2. Willison DJ. Making effective drugs available without bankrupting the health care system. More of the same is not enough. (Commentary) HealthcarePapers 2002; 3(1):47-55
  3. Willison DJ, MacLeod SM. Patenting of genetic material: Are the benefits to society being realized? CMAJ 2002;167(3):259-262.
  4. Willison DJ, Soumerai SS, Palmer RH. Physician and hospital volume and quality of care in acute myocardial infarction. Medical Care 2000;36(11):1092-1102
  5. Willison DJ. Health services research and personal health information: privacy concerns, new legislation, and beyond. CMAJ 1998;159:1378-80

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