VIRAGE Study: Resilience at the heart of population quality of life

The importance of resilience in preventing psychological effects in the most deprived

Resilience is said to play a key role in Quebecers’ quality of life, particularly in terms of psychological well-being. This is suggested by the preliminary results of the VIRAGE longitudinal study, which started in July 2021 and aims to better understand the perception of quality of life and resilience of the population during the recovery period. research is conducted in collaboration with the Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec Integrated University Health and Social Services Center (CIUSSS MCQ), the Intersectoral Health Research Network of the University of Quebec (RISUQ), the University of Quebec at Trois -Rivières (UQTR) and the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS).

Indeed, the data collected from the VIRAGE study to date suggests that resilience, or the ability to recover from difficult life trials or stressful events, is significantly associated with the four components of quality of life: physical health, psychological well-being, social relations and the environment. Specifically, it would explain up to 30% of the variance in psychological well-being. “In a period of pandemic, where many changes and stressful events are taking place, the preliminary results of the VIRAGE study suggest that it is necessary to support the development of resilience capacity within the population to prevent psychological effects, especially in disadvantaged people” Renee says. Proulx, administrative director of science education, research and innovation at the CIUSSS MCQ. Steps like Be better… Together! for strong and resilient communitiesinitiated by the Ministry of Health and Population Responsibility of the CIUSSS MCQ, thus take on their full meaning.

A variable quality of life within the population
The VIRAGE study so far has shown that the quality of life of the Quebec population who responded to the survey is generally good, very good or even excellent (82% of respondents). However, the preliminary results of the study suggest that the quality of life of certain populations is less or more influenced by the pandemic context.

For example, people with a low income and a low level of education now have a lower quality of life. On the other hand, the preliminary results of the VIRAGE study suggest that the impact of resilience on quality of life for this segment of the population would be even greater, highlighting the importance of providing an environment and tools that enhance the resilience of populations. in vulnerable situations.

On the other hand, the environment is the component of quality of life where we find the greatest disparity between socio-demographic groups. The sense of security, living in a healthy environment, access to leisure activities, transport and care are important characteristics that would distinguish the quality of life of the population in terms of income and education. “As the recovery phase of the pandemic takes shape, support for the development of health-conducive environments is critical,” emphasizes Julie Houle, Scientific Director of the Research Infrastructure for Prevention and Promotion of the CIUSSS MCQ and full professor of the Department of Nursing at UQTR.

An inequality could also be observed between these socio-demographic groups in the field of physical health. “This observation is not surprising, as there is scientific evidence that environments influence many lifestyles associated with health and the development of many chronic diseases,” added Professor Houle, who is also co-director of the Interdisciplinary Applied Health Research Group from UQTR. Researchers in this group argue that health is the result of a constant interaction between the individual and his environment.

Looking for additional participants
As data collection continues through 2026, the VIRAGE research team is still seeking participants from across Quebec to improve their work. It is possible to participate to contribute to a better understanding of the quality of life of Quebecers with a view to modulating care and social services in the coming years.

Anyone aged 18 years and older who is interested in participating in the study can complete the online questionnaires at:

Highlights of the VIRAGE study

  • Study launched in July 2021 in collaboration with CIUSSS MCQ, RISUQ, UQTR and INRS;
  • Deployment of research at provincial level. To date, people from Mauricie, Centre-du-Québec, Bas-St-Laurent, Gaspésie and Abitibi-Témiscamingue have participated in the survey;
  • Over 1,000 participants to date;
  • Study spread over a period of 5 years;
  • Integrated into the CIUSSS MCQ recovery plan, the VIRAGE study will make it possible to adapt the provision of care and social services to the real needs of the population during and after the pandemic;
  • Deployment and mobilization of several partners: vaccination clinics, GMF-U, retirement homes through user committees.

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