Academic Staff

Michelle Lobchuk, RN, PhD
Associate Professor

Contact Information
#315 Helen Glass Centre for Nursing
College of Nursing, University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2
P: 204.474.7135 (Helen Glass)
P: 204.837.0197 (Dorothy Wood)
P: 204.831.6457 (CAre Lab)

I am interested in empathic communication and related interventions in promoting effective, sensitive dialogue by professional and family caregivers, and patients dealing with illness and wellness decision-making.

Dr. Lobchuk has held a National Cancer Institute of Canada, Canadian Cancer Society Research Scientist Award and recently, a Research Manitoba Chair in Caregiver Communication. She is passionate about promoting sensitive, communication competence in caregivers (both professional and family). With funds from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and other partners, she has built a 943 square foot home-like design communication laboratory (aka CAre Lab) at Grace Hospital where she conducts interdisciplinary communication studies with state-of-the-art Mac computers, cameras, and audio-recording devices along with sophisticated video analysis software. She is currently developing an empathy-coaching video-feedback intervention for student nurses to engage in empathic dialogue with family caregivers about at-risk health behaviours (e.g., smoking, poor diet, lack of exercise). She teaches currently at the undergraduate and graduate level on Evidence Informed Practice, and supervises graduate and doctoral students in their thesis/dissertation projects.
Interdisciplinary PhD, University of Manitoba
MN, University of Manitoba
BN, University of Manitoba
 Research Interests
  •  Family Caregiving
  • Theory-based video-feedback interventions
  • Symptom management
  • Self-care management
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 Current Research
Increasing attention is being paid to patient-centred care which involves empathic processes by family caregivers and patient-oriented responsiveness to suffering. My goal is to develop a theory-based clinical intervention based on the integration of my findings from three areas of inter-related studies: 1) a careful description of ‘theory of the problem’ that means identifying ‘which’ and ‘when’ family caregivers experience difficulties in inferring the symptom experiences of cancer patients along the illness journey and 2) an understanding of essential elements of work environments, attitudes, and skills that support clinicians who interact with and coach caregivers in empathic communication. Results from these study areas will specify what populations, timing, procedures, and resources need to be incorporated in 3) a video feedback technique that will be subject to prototype development and experimental testing in the field for use by clinicians to assist them and “high risk” family caregivers who are challenged in their ability to empathically understand patient symptoms. This intervention has potential for wide applicability to prevalent chronic diseases and stigmatized conditions like lung cancer. I am currently working with graduate students who are extending my empathy research outside of cancer to family caregivers dealing with post-stroke and congestive heart failure care.
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