Kinesiology master's student enters video in health research competition

Every year, tens of thousands of Canadian mothers struggle to access health care for their infants.

A 1998 American study found that infants who do not receive health care or have delays in obtaining health care are less likely to survive, Alisa Fitisova, a Kinesiology and Health Science first-year master's student says.

photo of master's student Alisa Fitisova

Alisa Fitisova

"Currently, there is no national level study that looks at predictors of health care access for Canadian infants," she says. "Without such a study, it is impossible to create programs for infants who are likely to experience sub-standard health care access. My research will alleviate this problem by determining whether variables such as maternal education level, immigration status, maternal age and mothers’ Edinburgh post-natal depression scores are associated with mothers experiencing difficulty in securing health care for their infants."

She has created a fun and easy to understand video that demonstrates her research and entered it into the Institute of Human Development Child and Youth Health (IHDCYH) Video Talks Competition.

With the backing of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the competition is described as a unique funding opportunity to encourage researchers to share their content across diverse audiences. The competition invites researchers from all pillars and career levels to produce a short 3-5 minute video to share their research and ideas in the area of reproductive, child and youth health. The objective of this competition is to encourage the production of videos that present evidence-based research to a lay audience and that incorporate a message designed to have a positive impact on the health of children, youth and families.

The top video will be awarded the $5,000 first place prize. Three runners-up will receive $3,000 each. The videos will be judged on impact, accessibility, innovation and creativity, video quality and online voting.

"I entered the competition for two reasons. Firstly, producing the video allowed me to do something that I love: present information in a creative way. Secondly, I believe that my video can illustrate the severe barriers that parents can encounter when attempting to obtain health care for their infants. By illustrating these barriers, I hope to inspire Canadians to become advocates for removing barriers to health care in their communities" Ms Fitisova says.

"For the framework of my video, I decided on a story structure that follows that of popular children’s book, ‘The Lion and the Mouse’. Using this structure allowed my video to depict both the struggles that some parents experience when attempting to receive health care for their infants and how my research can help ‘save’ parents from this struggle," she says.

Ms Fitisova adds, it wouldn't have been possible without help. "I would not have been able to create my video without the help of friends who drew the illustrations, recorded me reading the story and animated the video".

To view the video on the IHDCYH YouTube page, visit: