VIRAGE study: the importance of resilience in health

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 the population’s quality of life and resilience during the recovery period.

This study is conducted in collaboration with the Integrated University Health and Social Services Center of Mauricie-et-du-Centre-du-Québec (CIUSSS MCQ), the Intersectoral Health Research Network of the University of Quebec (RISUQ), the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivières (UQTR) and the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS).

Indeed, the data collected from the VIRAGE study to date suggests that resilience, i.e. 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. Initiatives such as Being Better… Together! for strong and resilient communities, initiated by the Ministry of Health and Population Responsibility of the CIUSSS MCQ, 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 would 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.

There would also be a difference between these socio-demographic groups in terms of physical health. “This observation is not surprising, as there is scientific evidence that the environments influence many lifestyle habits linked to health and the development of many chronic diseases,” added Professor Houle, who is also co-director of the group. 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 18 years of age and older interested in participating in the study can complete the questionnaires online at ciusssmcq.ca/researchprojects.

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 1000 participants so far;

five-year study;

Integrated into the CIUSSS MCQ recovery plan, the VIRAGE study will allow 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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