iCARE International Symposium


An exciting event, held on December 2, 2021, attended by nearly 100 scientists, clinicians, policymakers, trainees, researchers and members of the public from across 14 countries. Watch sessions

Location of symposium attendees


Supported by a large team of international collaborators working in different regions and countries around the world, the iCARE study has been tracking population behavioural responses to the pandemic since March 2020.

The goal of the iCARE study is help inform public policy and government responses towards improving health outcomes and supporting the economic relaunch. Using a series of convenience, representative, and longitudinal surveys, the iCARE study has collected over 100,000 responses from around the world about pandemic behaviours, including attitudes, concerns, responses, and impacts in relation to public health policies.

The iCARE Study Symposium included presentations from iCARE collaborators as well as a a number of expert advisors to Canadian and UK government advisory committees on behavioural health and pandemic responses. The event also included moderated discussions between collaborators and experts on key issues.

The iCARE study has attracted media attention around the world and has produced a variety of results and infographics, as well as numerous presentations and publications. iCARE study collaborators have outlined a variety of data analysis plans and continue their research in helping government and health authorities better understand population responses and better manage public policies and pandemic response strategies.


View speaker bios

TimeActivity, Speakers, Invitees
8:00Welcome and opening remarks: Drs. Kim Lavoie, PhD (Canada) and Simon Bacon, PhD (Canada) – iCARE Study Primary Investigators
Chaired by Kim Lavoie, PhD (Canada)Watch this session
8:15Joanne Liu, MD (Canada), former international president of Doctors without Borders (2013-2019) and member of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR)
 Susan Michie, PhD (UK), expert advisor on the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behavioural Science (Covid-19), the Lancet’s Covid-19 Commission, and WHO’s Behavioural Insights and Sciences Technical Advisory Group
 Justin Presseau, PhD (Canada), member of the Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee and Chair of the Behavioural Science Working Group within Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
 Mona Nemer, PhD (Canada), Chief Science Advisor for the Government of Canada
 Michael Spivock, PhD (Canada), Behavioural Scientist on Health Canada’s COVID-19 Task Force
8:35Discussion (45 mins)
Chaired by Gerry Molloy, PhD (Ireland)Watch this session
9:30Hannah Durand, PhD (Ireland) – Understanding determinants of adherence to COVID-19 physical distancing guidance in Ireland
9:45Simon Bacon, PhD (Canada) – Motivators for adherence to COVID-19 mitigation measures
10:00Rubee Dev, PhD (Canada) – Association of Biological Sex and Gender-related Factors with Public Engagement in Protective Health Behaviours during the COVID-19 Pandemic
10:15Discussion (30 mins)
Chaired by Linda Carlson, PhD (Canada) Watch this session
11:15Jovana Stojanovic, PhD (Canada) – Impacts of COVID-19 on Individuals with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Analysis from a series of representative samples in Canadians
11:30Frédérique Deslauriers, BSc (Canada) – The Impact of COVID-19 on the lives of Canadians with non-communicable disease: Results from the iCARE Study
11:45Mohamad Baydoun, PhD (Canada) – The Psychosocial and Quality of Life Implications of COVID-19: A Comparison Between Cancer Patients, Healthy Individuals, and Other Chronic Disease Populations
12:00Discussion (30 mins)
Chaired by Michael Vallis, PhD (Canada)Watch this session
1:30Kim Lavoie, PhD (Canada) – National trends in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and determinants in Canada – April 2020 to March 2021
1:45Vincent Gosselin Boucher, PhD (Canada) – Vaccine Hesitancy In Healthcare workers: Results from Canadian representative samples in the iCARE Study
2:00Josh Rash, PhD (Canada) – Addressing hesitancy to the COVID-19 vaccines: Applying frameworks from the behavioural sciences to progress from an understanding of vaccine hesitancy to personalized interventions
2:15Discussion (30 min)
Chaired by Simon Bacon, PhD (Canada)Watch this session
2:45Eric Kennedy, PhD (Canada) – Survey infrastructure for the next emerging threat and lessons learned from this one
3:00Clea Aumont, BSc (Canada) – Survey Methods: Classifying Ethnicity
3:15Keven Joyal-Desmarais, PhD (Canada) – Do Common Covariates Help or Harm When it Comes to Reducing Sampling Bias in COVID-19 Research? Lessons from the Multiverse
3:30Discussion  (30 min)
Chaired by Jacqueline Boyle, PhD (Australia)Watch this session
4:30Joanne Enticott, PhD (Australia) – iCARE experience in Australia: Nationwide Longitudinal and Cross-sectional Representative Surveys
4:45Shrinkhala Dawadi, MSc (Australia) – Adherence to COVID-19 protective behaviours -comparing Australia and Canada
5:00Mariantonia Lemos, PhD (Colombia) – What variables are related with the probability of getting vaccinated from covid-19 in Latin America?
5:15Discussion  (30 min)
 Watch closing remarks
6:15Closing remarks – Drs. Kim Lavoie and Simon Bacon


Clea Aumont, BSc, Canada
Clea is currently completing a Bachelor of Science at Concordia University working towards a joint major in Mathematics & Statistics and Computer Science. The exposure of these two subjects have led her to a number of different opportunities. She first started working for the federal government where she is part of the data interchange team. She mainly programs and maintains code for systems that transfer data across a network, mainly weather-related and meteorological data for Environment Canada. She also works as a Teaching Assistant at Concordia University and is in charge of managing the teaching assistant team. She leads tutorial sessions for a programming course and helps students with assignments and course-related work. Her degree brought her to the iCARE project where she got the opportunity to build and program a tool from scratch to organize and clean data from the iCARE surveys.
 Simon Bacon, PhD, Canada
Dr. Simon Bacon, PhD, FTOS, FCCS, FABMR is a full professor in the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Applied Physiology at Concordia University, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR) Chair in Innovative, Patient-Oriented, Behavioural Clinical Trials, and the FRQS co-Chair in Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health for Health Behaviour Change. He is also Co-Director of the Montréal Behavioural Medicine Centre, a researcher at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et service sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, and co-lead of the International Behavioural Trials Network (IBTN). Dr. Bacon has had extensive training in the delivery of behavioural randomised controlled trials and has been a PI and co-I on multiple different studies involving behavioural interventions, including exercise, weight management, stress management, and motivational communication. Over the last year he has been co-leading the international COVID-19 study, the iCARE study which has over 100,000 responses from over 200 countries.
 Mohamad Baydoun, RN, PhD, Canada
Mohamad (who usually goes by Mo) is an oncology nurse. He completed his PhD in Nursing at the University of Michigan in 2019. Mo’s research focuses on the psychosocial and behavioural components of living with cancer. One area of his research examines the effects of mind-body interventions (e.g., mindfulness meditation, yoga) on mood and behaviour in cancer patients and survivors. Another line of research he pursues examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the psychosocial and healthcare experiences of patients with cancer.
 Jacqueline Boyle, PhD, Australia
Jacqueline Boyle (MBBS, MPH&TM, FRANZCOG, PhD) is an Associate Professor of Public Health and Deputy Director of Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She is also an obstetrician/gynaecologist. Her work is focused on women’s health across the lifespan in public health, health services, implementation and translation, underpinned by equity and community and consumer involvement and incorporating behaviour change. She has been involved with the iCARE study in Australia since its beginnings and chairs the Policy and Translation Committee.
 Linda Carlson, PhD, Canada
Linda Carlson holds the Enbridge Research Chair in Psychosocial Oncology and is a Full Professor in Psychosocial Oncology in the Department of Oncology, Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, as well as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology. She is the Director of Research and works as a Clinical Psychologist at the Department of Psychosocial Resources at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre where she has worked since 1997. She also holds a CIHR SPOR-funded mentorship chair in innovative clinical trials, which funds the Training in Research And Clinical Trials in Integrative Oncology (TRACTION) program that supports a multidisciplinary group of University of Calgary fellows studying Integrative Oncology.
 Shrinkhala Dawadi, MSc, Australia
Shrinkhala Dawadi is a data analyst with an interest in behavioural health in the context of public health, equitable access to care, and the social determinants of health. She is particularly interested in applying quantitative epidemiological methods to address these research areas.
 Frédérique Deslauriers, BSc Hons., Canada
Frédérique obtained a Bachelor with Honours in Psychology at the Université du Québec À Montréal (UQÀM). Her undergraduate honours thesis assessed the differential impact of COVID-19 on people with chronic disease (e.g., heart and lung disease, cancer). She recently started a doctoral degree with UQÀM’s Clinical and Research Psychology program, where she is supervised by Dr. Kim Lavoie. Her interests are chronic disease, health behaviour, and behavioural medicine.
 Rubee Dev, PhD, Canada
Rubee holds a PhD in Nursing Science from the School of Nursing at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. As part of her fellowship, she is involved in the iCARE study and the GOING-FWD project. The overarching aims of the GOING-FWD project is to integrate sex and gender dimensions in applied health research and to evaluate their impact on clinical cost-sensitive outcomes and patients reported outcomes related to quality of life in noncommunicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, chronic kidney disease, and neurological disease. Her area of research interest is maternal and child health, specifically as it relates to the reproductive health of women, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, chronic disease prevention and management, and sex and gender differences in non-communicable disease outcome. In particular, much of her work entails extensive research to identify the data gaps and opportunities for action in meeting the needs of women and strengthening the evidence base.
 Hannah Durand, PhD, United Kingdom
Dr. Hannah Durand is a lecturer in health psychology at the University of Stirling in Scotland. Her research interests centre around self-regulation and health behaviours, particularly treatment adherence and self-management of chronic illness. As a postdoctoral researcher at the National University of Ireland, Galway (2020-2021), she led a team of researchers exploring determinants of adherence to COVID-19 physical distancing measures in Ireland with funding from the Health Research Board and Irish Research Council (PI: Dr Gerry Molloy). This body of research, which includes ongoing collaboration with the iCARE study team, has influenced national discourse and government policy related to the implementation and promotion of physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ireland.
 Joanne Enticott, PhD, Australia
Joanne Enticott is a Senior Research Fellow and Biostatistician specialising in translational clinical and health services research, data-driven research, big data and analytics. She is a Data Driven Fellow at Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre (2019-2020) leading work on Learning Health System development. She leads a statistical team supporting biostatistics needs of over 200 researchers at two Centres of Research Excellence and Monash Centre for Health Research & Implementation (MCHRI). She is Health Services Research Coordinator at Southern Synergy Department of Psychiatry at Monash University. She is an early-mid career researcher utilising her strong biostatistical skillset to undertake independent research in the new ‘Big Data and Analytics’ unit she leads at MCHRI, which uses national datasets and epidemiology to inform policy to improve health outcomes.
 Vincent Gosselin Boucher, PhD, Canada
Dr. Vincent Gosselin Boucher is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. He completed his PhD in Psychology at the Université du Québec à Montréal. His research interests include behaviour change interventions, population health promotion, and the use of digital health. His work includes the development of technology-based evaluation and scientific knowledge translation tools, the use of qualitative methods to describe barriers and facilitators to behaviour change, and the wellbeing of healthcare professionals. For his academic excellence and research potential, Dr. Gosselin Boucher has received several prestigious awards, including the Michael Smith Postdoctoral Fellowship, CIHR and FRSQ doctoral fellowships, an RBC Student-Athlete Award, and a Canadian Psychological Association Research Award.
 Keven Joyal-Desmarais, PhD, Canada
Keven is a postdoctoral fellow at the Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC) and at Concordia University. Keven received a PhD in social psychology at the University of Minnesota with a research focus on how communication-based interventions can be enhanced by tailoring their content to people’s values and motivations. Keven conducts applied work in areas such as health psychology and behavioural medicine (e.g., promoting exercise/vaccination) as well as prosocial behaviour (e.g., promoting volunteerism). Keven also has interests in using theory and methodological principles to improve the scientific process itself (e.g., improving research designs, developing new methodological tools, thinking carefully about the reproducibility /generalizability of findings.
 Eric Kennedy, PhD, Canada
Eric Kennedy is an Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Area Coordinator of the Disaster and Emergency Management program at York University. Trained in the sociology of science with an emphasis on disaster research methods, his work focuses on improving research methods to support evidence-informed decision- and policy-making. He leads a national, multi-institutional COVID-19 monitoring project, and runs an international working group on survey research methodologies in COVID-19. He has extensive experience teaching research methods courses in university & government contexts; conducting rapid-response survey, interview, and observational research in disasters; and supporting science advice during crises. He is director of the Forum on Science, Policy, and Society, a not-for-profit supporting evidence-based policy.
 Kim Lavoie, PhD, Canada
Dr. Kim Lavoie, PhD, FCPA, FABMR is a full professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Quebec at Montreal and holds the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Medicine. She is also Co-Director of the Montréal Behavioural Medicine Centre (MBMC), a researcher at the Centre intégré universitaire de santé et service sociaux du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (CIUSSS-NIM), and co-lead of the International Behavioural Trials Network (IBTN). Dr. Lavoie is internationally recognized for her research on the impact of psychological and behavioural factors on the development and progression of cardiovascular and lung diseases, and the impact of behavioural interventions, e.g., motivational communication, exercise, and behavioural weight loss, on key health behaviours and outcomes in chronic lung disease. Over the last year she has been co-leading the international COVID-19 study, the iCARE study which has over 100,000 responses from over 200 countries. Dr. Lavoie also serves as a behavioural sciences expert on the Canadian COVID-19 Expert Advisory Panel.
 Mariantonia Lemos, PhD, Colombia
Mariantonia Lemos is a Professor of Health Psychology and Coordinator of the Behavioural Studies masters program at Universidad EAFIT (Medellín, Colombia). She is a Psychologist and holds a MSc and a PhD in Psychology. Her ith research interests include the impact of emotions on cardiovascular disease, the prevention of chronic diseases, and the management of stress. She is also a cognitive behaviour psychoterapist.
 Joanne Liu, MD, Canada
Dr. Joanne Liu is a practising emergency physician, veteran humanitarian aid worker, and former international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (2013-2019). She is currently a Professor at the School of Population and Global Health at McGill University with a focus on pandemic preparedness and response and health emergencies. She is as well co-panelist on the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPPR).
 Susan Michie, PhD, UK
Susan Michie (FMedSci, FAcSS, FBA) is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London. Professor Michie’s research focuses on human behaviour change in relation to health and the environment, namely how to apply theory and evidence to intervention and policy development, evaluation, and implementation. She has published over 500 journal articles and her books include the Behaviour Change Wheel: A Guide to Designing Interventions. Dr. Michie is an expert advisor on the UK’s Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behavioural Science (Covid-19), the Lancet’s Covid-19 Commission and WHO’s Behavioural Insights and Sciences Technical Advisory Group.
 Gerry Molloy, PhD, Ireland
Gerry Molloy is Senior Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway. He is Director of the MEDication Adherence Across the Lifespan (MEDAL) research group. The objective of this group is use behavioural science to help improve adherence to medical treatments from childhood to older adulthood. He was elected a Fellow of the European Health Psychology in 2018 and is currently an Associate Editor of Health Psychology Review.
 Mona Nemer, PhD, Canada
Dr. Mona Nemer is the Chief Science Advisor to Canada’s Prime Minister, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Cabinet. Her mandate is to provide advice on issues related to science and government policies that support it. This includes advising on ways to ensure that science is considered in policy decisions and that government science is fully available to the public. Dr. Nemer is a leader in the area of molecular cardiology; she has discovered several genes essential for normal heart development and function. Before becoming the Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Nemer was Professor and Vice-President of Research at the University of Ottawa and Director of the school’s Molecular Genetics and Cardiac Regeneration Laboratory. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and did post-doctoral training in molecular biology at the Institut de Recherche Clinique de Montréal and Columbia University. In 2018, Dr. Nemer was awarded the Arthur Wynne Gold Medal by the Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences.
 Justin Presseau, PhD, Canada
Justin Presseau is an Associate Professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health and the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa in Canada, and a Scientist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute where he leads the Psychology and Health Research Group. He holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Aberdeen (UK). His research program operates at the intersection of health psychology and implementation science, spanning evidence synthesis to mixed-methods intervention development to trials and process evaluation. His work draws on behaviour change theories and methods to understand factors that promote and undermine behaviour change in healthcare and in patients and the general public. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles and holds over 90 research grants (>$CDN 70 million, of which >$CDN 9 million as PI/Co-PI). He is Associate Editor for the journal Implementation Science and chairs the Canadian Psychological Association’s Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine section. In the province of Ontario (Canada), he is a member of the Ontario Immunization Advisory Committee, and he also chairs the Behavioural Science Working Group within Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table.
 Joshua Rash, PhD, Canada
Joshua Rash is an Assistant Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Director of the Memorial University of Newfoundland – Behavioural Medicine Centre (MUN-BMC), and Senior Research Fellow at the Duke University Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research (CHPIR). He is a clinical, health, and rehabilitation psychologist with expertise in behavioural medicine, health behaviour change, and chronic disease management.
 Michael Spivock, PhD, Canada
Mike Spivock is a Behavioural Scientist in Public Health, specializing in psychological behaviour change models and their interaction with the built, policy, and social environment. He graduated from the University of Montreal’s School of Public Health with a PhD in Health Promotion in 2008. From 2006 to 2020, he worked for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), first as a Senior Research Officer and then as National Manager of the Health Promotion Program. In his role as National Manager – Health Promotion, he oversaw the delivery of health promotion programs and services across 24 bases and wings in the CAF, supporting behaviour change in the areas of nutrition, addictions, stress management, active living, injury prevention and sexual misconduct. In 2020, Mike was appointed to his current position, as a Behavioural Scientist on Health Canada’s COVID-19 Task Force. He also holds a faculty position as Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ottawa where he supervises graduate students, in addition to teaching courses in public health, health behaviours, and research methods.
 Jovana Stojanovic, PhD, Canada
Jovana Stojanovic is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She currently works as a collaborator on the global iCARE study exploring population attitudes, concerns and behavioural responses to COVID-19 policies, as well as the impacts that the pandemic is having on people’s lives. As a public health scientist, Jovana is also interested in novel approaches to optimize methodologies of evidence summaries to inform decision making in healthcare. Jovana completed her PhD in public health and obtained a masters degree in epidemiology from Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy. Her previous work was focusing on epidemiological research in primary cancer prevention, public health genomics, and health technology assessment. She has participated in various international research initiatives, and has authored many scientific publications. Jovana serves as a peer reviewer in several international journals and is the Guest Editor for a special issue of the journal Vaccines.
 Michael Vallis, PhD, Canada
Michael Vallis is a registered health psychologist based in Halifax, Canada. He is a Health Behaviour Change Consultant and Associate Professor in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. He obtained his PhD and MA from the University of Western Ontario, London, and his BSc from Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is adult health psychology, with an emphasis on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. He has worked in the public health system for 35 years, where he developed the Behaviour Change Institute, and is now working as a consultant and doing private practice. He spends most of his time training healthcare providers in behaviour change for chronic disease management. He regularly supervises clinical and academic students at Dalhousie and is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease. He consults nationally as well as internationally and is heavily involved in academic publications, journal editing, and clinical practice guidelines. He was on the executive of the Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Obesity (2020) and lead author of the Psychological and Behavioural Chapter for these new guidelines as well as the 2006 guidelines. As well, he is an author of the Psychology and Mental Health chapter of Diabetes Canada’s Clinical Practice Guidelines (2018, 2013, 2004). He was recently awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Government of Canada on the recommendation of the Canadian Diabetes Association.

iCARE Canadian Longitudinal Study

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