Marie Savundranayagam, PhD

Marie Savundranayagam

Associate Professor

Room 346, HSB
519 661-2111 x82215
msavund@uwo.ca

Education

  • MA, PhD (University of Kansas)
  • B.Arts.Sc. Combined Honours (McMaster)

Academic Appointments

Supervising Graduate Students

  • Yes

Research Interests

  • Communication and formal and informal caregiving
  • Person-centered care for individuals with Alzheimer's disease or related dementia
  • Caregiver interventions

Additional Information

Featured Projects

Recent Publications

  • Williams, N., Phillips, NA., Wittich, W., Campos, J., Mick, P, Orange, JB., Pichora-Fuller, MK., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Guthrie, DM. (2020). Hearing and cognitive impairments increase the risk of long-term care admissions. Innovation in Aging, 4(2): igz053. doi: 10.1093/geroni/igz053
  • Savundranayagam, M.Y., Basque, S. R., & Johnson, K. (2020). Feasibility of Be EPIC: A dementia-focused person-centered communication intervention for home care workers. Clinical Gerontologist, 43(2): 181-192. DOI: 10.1080/07317115.2019.1694116
  • Garcia Diaz, L., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Kloseck, M., & Fitzsimmons, D. (2019). The role of cultural and family values on social connectedness among ethnic minority elders. Clinical Gerontologist, 42(1), 114-126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07317115.2017.1395377
  • Young, J., Lind, C., Orange, JB., Savundranayagam, MY. (2019). Expanding current understandings of epistemic injustice and dementia: Learning from stigma theory. Journal of Aging Studies, 48, 76-84.
  • Guthrie, D. M., Davidson, J. G. S., Williams, N., Campos, J. Hunter, K., Mick, P., Orange, J. B., Pichora-Fuller, M. K., Phillips, N. A., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Wittich, W. (2018). Combined impairments in vision, hearing and cognition are associated with greater levels of functional and communication difficulties than cognitive impairment alone: Analysis of interRAI data for home care and long-term care recipients in Ontario. PLOS ONE, 13(2), e0192971. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192971
  • Hill, E. M., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Zecevic, A., & Kloseck, M. (2018). Staff perspectives of barriers to access and delivery of palliative care for persons with dementia in long-term care. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Disorders, http://doi.org/10.1177/1533317518765124.
  • Hamad, E. O., AlHadi, A., Tremblay, P., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Kinsella, E.A., Holmes, J. D., Lee, C., Johnson, A.M. (2018). Reconstruction of a caregiver burden scale: Identifying culturally sensitive items in Saudi Arabia. Canadian Journal on Aging. 1-16. doi:10.1017/S071498081800003X
  • Hamad, E. O., AlHadi, A., Tremblay, P., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Kinsella, E.A., Holmes, J. D., Lee, C., Johnson, A.M. (2018). Reconstruction of a caregiver burden scale: Identifying culturally sensitive items in Saudi Arabia. Canadian Journal on Aging, 37(2), 218-233. doi:10.1017/S071498081800003X [20%, IFR: .734, H index: 34, Journal Ranked Q2 Gerontology]
  • Savundranayagam, M. Y. (2018). Aging through the lens of historical time, space, and place. The Gerontologist, 58(4), 795-796. doi.org/10.1093/geront/gny070
  • Sibalija, J., Savundranayagam, M.Y., Orange, JB., & Kloseck, M. (2018). Social support, social participation, and depression among caregivers and non-caregivers in Canada: A population health perspective. Aging and Mental Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/13607863.2018.1544223
  • Savundranayagam, M. Y. & Lee, C. (2017) Roles of communication problems and communication strategies on resident-related job satisfaction. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Disorders. doi: 10.1177/1533317517689876
  • Kloseck, M., Fitzimmons, D., Speechley, M., Savundranayagam, M. Y., & Crilly, R., (2017). Improving the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis using a senior-friendly peer-led community education and mentoring model: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 12, 823-833.
  • Hamad, E. O., AlHadi, A. Lee, C., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Holmes, J. D., Kinsella, E.A., Johnson, A.M. (2017). Assessment of caregiving constructs: Toward a personal, familial, group, and cultural construction of dementia care through the eyes of personal construct psychology. Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 32(4), 413-431. doi:10.1007/s10823-017-9320-x
  • Savundranayagam, M. Y., Sibalija, J., & Scotchmer, E. (2016). Resident reactions to person-centered communication by long-term care staff. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, 31(6) 530-53. doi: 10.1177/1533317515622291
  • Hamad, E. O., Savundranayagam, M. Y., Holmes, J. D., Kinsella, E.A., Johnson, A.M. (2016). Towards a mixed methods research approach to content analysis in the digital age: The combined content analysis model and its applications to healthcare Twitter feeds. Journal of Medical Internet Research. doi:10.2196/jmir.5391
  • Savundranayagam, M. Y., & Moore-Nielson, K. (2015). Language-based communication strategies that support person-centered communication. International Journal of Psychogeriatrics, 27(10), 1707-1718. doi:10.1017/S1041610215000903

Research Autobiography

Dr. Savundranayagam conducts research that has an impact on how we care for older adults with dementia and their caregivers, both family and formal caregivers. Within family caregiving, her research is on enhancing our understanding of the contributors of stress and depression among family caregivers, and to use that knowledge to develop, implement, and assess interventions that enrich their caregiving experiences.

Within formal caregiving, Dr. Savundranayagam’s research aims to understand the factors that lead to communication breakdown between formal caregivers and persons with dementia, and to use that knowledge to equip formal caregivers with the necessary skills to be person-centered in their care. Recently, Dr. Savundranayagam created Be EPIC, a person-centered communication training program for personal support workers of clients with dementia.

Research Affiliations

Teaching Areas

  • Population aging and health
  • Physical and psychological changes associated with aging
  • Vulnerable populations and aging

In the Media

Awards

  • Faculty of Health Sciences: Recognition of Excellence in Teaching  (2012, 2013)
  • Age Plus Prize: Canadian Institutes of Health Research – Institute of Aging (2005)

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, The Clinical Gerontologist
  • Editorial Board, Social Work in Health Care
  • Editorial Board, Educational Gerontology