David Gardner

Biography | Biographie

Dr. David Gardner is a professor with the Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia. He completed training in pharmacy, community health, and epidemiology at U of T, UBC, and Dalhousie University.

David’s research covers the safe and effective use of psychotropic medications, pharmacoepidemiology, and program development and implementation in mental health and addictions services in primary care with a focus on pharmacists’ roles and services. He is the co-lead investigator of the YAWNS NB study, co-developed the Sleepwell initiative, and has over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Recognitions include multiple teaching awards, the 2012 Canadian Pharmacist of the Year award, and in 2017 he was identified as one of Canada’s 150 Difference Makers in the CAMH Leading Canadians for Mental Health campaign. Dr. Gardner balances his scholarly work with regular community outreach, advocacy, and clinical activities.

Le Dr David Gardner est un professeur au Département de psychiatrie à l’Université Dalhousie, Halifax, Nouvelle-Écosse. Il a complété une formation en pharmacie, santé communautaire, et épidémiologie à l’U of T, UBC et à l’Université Dalhousie.

La recherche de David porte sur l’utilisation sécuritaire et efficace des médicaments psychotropes, la pharmacoépidémiologie, et la conception et la mise en œuvre de programmes en santé mentale et services de dépendances dans les soins primaires, axé sur les rôles et services de pharmaciens. Il est le cochercheur principal de l’étude YAWNS NB, a développé conjointement l’initiative Sleepwell, et compte plus de 100 publications évaluées par les pairs. Ses reconnaissances comprennent plusieurs prix d’enseignement, le prix du Pharmacien canadien de l’année 2012, et faisait partie des 150 personnes faisant une différence dans la campagne du Centre de toxicomanie et de santé mental (CAHM) en 2017. Le Dr Gardner équilibre son travail universitaire avec des services communautaires réguliers, la défense de causes et ses activités cliniques.

Presentation Summary | Sommaire de la présentation

YAWNS NB – Better Sleep, Fewer Sleeping Pills | YAWNS NB – Meilleur sommeil, moins de somnifères

First-line recommended treatment for chronic insomnia is cognitive-behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBTi). Sedative-hypnotics are only to be used if CBTi fails or is inaccessible and they are to be avoided whenever possible in older adults due to the risks for serious harms including memory impairment, injurious falls, respiratory illness, driving impairment, and physical and psychological dependence. However, rates of sedative-use are high, especially among older adults living in New Brunswick, and awareness of CBTi resources among health care providers and people living with insomnia is low.

YAWNS NB (Your Answers When Needing Sleep in New Brunswick) is a 3-arm, prospective, randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of receiving a two-booklet information package by mail on sleep and sleeping pill use over 6-months. Participants receive: i) EMPOWER package (previously shown to effectively reduce sedative-hypnotic use in older adults); ii) Sleepwell package (embeds a unique set of behaviour change techniques and emphasizes the use of CBTi), or iii) no package (treatment-as-usual). All study participants have been enrolled (n=594). Final data analysis is expected for the fall of 2022.

The presentation will share information about sedative-hypnotic medication risks and benefits, CBTi resources, and evidence-based resources for safely stopping long-term sedative-hypnotic use in older adults.