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Research | Funding





  • Shane
  • Lab
  • Lindsay


Pillar 1: Understand


It is critical to understand the underlying concepts that predict physical activity and well-being before attempting to promote these outcomes. As a result, the focus of this pillar is to understand the psychosocial factors that predict physical activity and/or well-being. Research within each of the physical activity or well-being streams has been grounded in theory such as self-determination theory, self-efficacy theory and the health action process approach. The research consists of cross-sectional, prospective and experimental quantitative studies aimed to identify predictors of physical activity/well-being and qualitative studies that obtain the perspectives of specific groups on physical activity/well-being.


Examples of ongoing studies:

Physical activity stream: (a) Psychosocial predictors of physical activity for individuals who have completed cardiac rehabilitation; (b) Testing self-determination theory concepts in a set of experimental lab-based exercise studies.

Well-being stream: (a) Examining the role of spinal cord injury peer mentors on enhancing the lives of fellow peers with spinal cord injury; (b) Investigating the intersection between physical activity and eudaimonic (e.g., meaning) and hedonic (e.g., life satisfaction) well-being among cardiac rehabilitation participants. (c) Understanding social participation (i.e., engagement in daily and societal tasks) levels of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.


Pillar 2: Promote


Pillar 2 focuses on promoting behaviours and enhancing well-being outcomes. Research within Pillar 2 can be informed from Pillar 1 studies or designed based on theoretical frameworks. In this pillar, promotion refers to any action taken to change behaviour or cognitions and has been organized by two streams: Persuasive messaging and intensive interventions.


Examples of ongoing studies:

Persuasive messaging stream: (a) Testing and comparing messages to reduce sedentary behaviour and increase physical activity; (b) Evaluating messages to promote physical activity action planning among inactive adults.

Intensive interventions stream: (a) A pilot randomized controlled trial on testing a self-determination theory-based tele-health intervention among adults with spinal cord injury.


Pillar 3: Engage


The engagement of consumers has become an integral part of research. Note that I am using the term “consumer” to represent any segment of the population that can (1) inform research, and (2) apply and use research findings which include all citizens, whether they are patients, healthy individuals, community organizations, researchers and/or health professionals. Therefore, this pillar focuses on two streams: consumer engagement and knowledge translation research.


Examples of ongoing studies:

Consumer engagement stream: (a) Examining the research and health care priorities of adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; (b) Obtaining the perspectives of spinal cord injury peer mentors and mentees on the importance of peer mentorship on their lives.

Knowledge translation research stream: In collaboration, evaluate (a) the Active Living Leaders Program, a Canada-wide physical activity training program for adults with a disability and (b) Praxis 2016, an international conference aimed to bridge knowledge translation gaps in spinal cord injury using the RE-AIM framework (Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation and Maintenance).



Health messages:

Dr. Duncan and Dr. Sweet are combining the health messages expertise they acquired during their post-doctoral training to form this line of research. They will be collaborating on designing effective health messages to improve a variety of health behaviours including physical activity, sedentary behaviours, smoking cessation.


Departmental collaborations:

Dr. Duncan and Dr. Sweet are also actively involved in the research of other members of the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education at McGill University. For instance, they are working with Dr. Ross Andersen and his graduate student on interventions to improve physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in bariatric surgery patients.


Theory testing:

Dr. Sweet and Dr. Duncan are both very interested in the role of theory to understand physical activity behaviour. In this line of research, they are designing experimental and longitudinal studies aimed to test the principles of a variety of theories (e.g., self-determination theory, self-efficacy theory and the health action process approach) in the physical activity context.


Cancer Prevention & Suvivorship

Dr. Duncan is collaborating with a team of researchers from the McGill community to assess the effect of a tailored resistance exercise program on preventing bone loss, osteoporosis, and fragility fractures in premenopausal women treated for breast cancer.



Dr. Duncan collaborates with the play2PREVENT lab at Yale University on a research program that aims to harness videogame technology to create engaging and effective methods to teach skills and convey information that lead to health behaviour change. Currently, Dr. Duncan is developing an electronic prototype of a videogame intervention - designed as a downloadable mobile app to be played on smartphones or tablets - that focuses on preventing smoking among adolescents aged 11-14 years.



Doping (i.e., using performance-enhancing substances) in sport is a problem that can have serious physical, psychological, social, and moral consequences for athletes. Adolescent athletes aged 12 to 17 years are particularly vulnerable to initiating doping because as they often feel pressure to be bigger and stronger or to perform at a high level. To help prevent doping, sport organizations across the world have been developing resources and educational programs that inform adolescent athletes about the risks of doping. Dr. Duncan and her research team believe that in order to create the most effective anti-doping programs for adolescents, the programs need to be tailored specifically to adolescents. The overall goal of this research is to help determine the most effective ways to share information about doping with adolescent athletes in order to have an impact on doping prevention.



  • Shane
  • Lindsay
  • Tie Lab

Principal/Co-Principal Investigator

  1. Title: Enhancing quality of life through exercise: A tele-rehabilitation approach.
    Agency/Program: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Psychosocial Grants (2016-2017; $83,731(US))
    Team: Sweet, S.N. (PI), Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Dahlia Kairy, & Brigitte Fillion

  2. Title: RE-AIMing Conferences: An evaluation of Praxis 2016 as an innovative knowledge-translation strategy Agency/Program: Rick Hansen Institute (2016-2017; $33,797)
    Team: Gainforth, H (coPI), Shane N. Sweet (coPI), Baron, J., Michalovic, E. & Graham, I.

  3. Title: Understanding the activities, healthcare and research priorities of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    Agency/Program: AstraZeneca Canada (2016-2017; $42,000)
    Team: Jensen, D (coPI), Shane N. Sweet (coPI)

  4. Title: Spinal cord injury, peer mentorship and quality of life: Applying self-determination theory
    Agency/Program: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada/Insight Development Grant (2014-2016: $72,104)
    Team: Sweet, S.N. (PI), Fortier, M.S., Martin Ginis, K.A., Latimer-Cheung, A.E., Noreau, L., & Zelaya, W.

  5. Title: Comprendre le maintien de l'activité physique après la réadaptation cardiaque
    Agency/Program: Fonds de recherché du Québec – Santé; Bourse et subvention en partenariat – Fondation des maladies du Cœur du Québec / Chercheur Boursier Junior 1 [2014 – 2018 : $214,452 (salary) + $60,000 (research grant)] Sweet, S.N


  1. Title: Enhancing Social Participation Among People with Spinal Cord Injury: Investigating the Peer Mentor-Mentee Relationship
    Agency/Program: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada/Insight Development Grant (2016-2018; $74,070)
    Team: Gainforth, H (PI), Sweet, S.N., Erickson, K., Martin Ginis, K.; Collaborators: Lorencatto, F., Casemore, S., McBride, C., Clarke, T.

  2. Title: Enhancing community participation in Canadians with physical disabilities.
    Agency/Program: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada / Partnership Grants (2014-2020: $2,643,997)
    Team: Martin Ginis, K.A. (PI), Latimer-Cheung, A., Millar, W., Connelly, C., Sweet, S..N., McColl, M-A, et al.

  3. Title: Examining the role of Paralympic sport in challenging negative stereotypes of disability
    Agency/Program: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada/Insight Grant (2013-2016: $126,920)
    Team: Latimer-Cheung, A.E. (PI), Martin Ginis, K., Sweet, S.N., MacDonald, T., Perrier, M-J.

  4. Title: Using peer mentor support to enhance social participation/community integration among adults with spinal cord injury
    Agency/Program: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada / Partnership Development Grants (2013-2016: $198,837)
    Team: Martin Ginis, K.A. (PI), Latimer-Cheung, A., Connelly, C., Beauchamp, M., Sweet, S.N., & Noreau, L

  5. Title: Co-construction et implantation d'un programme de counseling individuel visant à améliorer le niveau d'activité physique des personnes ayant des incapacités physiques
    Agency/Program: Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de la Science / Fonds des services aux collectivités (2014-2016; $70,355).
    Team: Lamontagne, M-E. (PI), Sweet, S.N., Batcho, C.S., Arbour-Nicitopoulos, K, & Légaré, M.

  6. Title: Activité physique basée sur la marche pendant et après la réadaptation post-AVC : Caractérisation et analyse des relations avec des facteurs cliniques, fonctionnels et psychosociaux
    Agency/Program: Réseau Provincial De Recherche En Adaptation-Réadaptation (REPAR) : Program 1.1 (2015-2016; $19,440).
    Team: Sèbiyo Batcho, C. (PI), Boissy, P., Blanchette, A., Sweet, S.N., & Robitaille, N-M.

  7. Title: Sensitivity to Physical Activity (SPA) as a subgrouping factor for patient responses to pain rehabilitation following work-related musculoskeletal injury
    Agency/Program: Quebec Pain Research Network (2015-2016; $24,991).
    Team: Wideman, T. (PI), Stone, L. & Sweet, S.N.

  8. Title: Cardiac rehAbilitation sedentaRy bEahviour correlateS (CARES)
    Agency/Program: Heart & Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia / Bridge Grant (2014-2015; $59,820)
    Team: Blanchard, C.M. (PI), Warburton, D., Rhodes, R.E., King-Shier, K., Grace, S., Reid, R., Sweet, S.N., Giacomantonio, N., McGowan, E., Saunders, T., & Rainham, D., & Witcher, C.
  1. Title: Enhancing anti-doping education interventions using framed messages
    Agency/Program: World Anti-Doping Agency/ Social Sciences Research Grant (2015-2016: $22,352)
    Investigator: Duncan, L.R.

  2. Title: Development of a Videogame Intervention Targeting Cigarette Smoking and Cancer Prevention among Young Adolescents
    Agency/ Program: Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute – Capacity Development Award in Prevention (2014 – 2017: $75,000)
    Investigator: Duncan, L. R.

  3. Title: Development of a Videogame Prototype Targeting the Prevention of Cigarette and Marijuana Smoking among Young Adolescents.
    Agency/Program: Dartmouth Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (2014-2015: $25,000)
    Investigators: Fiellin, L. E., Duncan, L. R., Hieftje, K. D.

  4. Title: An interactive video game for HIV prevention in at-risk adolescents.
    Agency/ Program: National Institutes of Health/ National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2009- 2015: $698,444)
    Investigators: Fiellin, L. E., Bauman, S., Forsyth, B., Mayes, L., Hubal, R., Rosenthal, M. Z., Salovey, P., Chawarski, M., Seropian, A., Lejuez, C., Hieftje, K. D., Duncan, L. R.

  5. Title: Preventing osteoporosis and fragility fractures in women with breast cancer: A postdoctoral program relying on randomised controlled trial and mixed methods.
    Agency/program: CURE Foundation Grant (2014-2015; $65,000)
    Investigators: O’Brien, S., Dalzell, M., Lapointe, J., Duncan, L. R.
  1. Title:  Adoption and maintenance of physical activity among adults with mobility impairments
    Agency/Program: Canadian Foundation for Innovation/John R. Evans Leaders Fund (2014-2016: $202,021)
    Investigators: Sweet, S.N. (co-PI) & Duncan, L.R. (co-PI)