Dr. Monique Gignac
Dr. Monique Gignac is scientific director and senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. She is also a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
Gignac’s research expertise is in the areas of health and social psychology, including health models of disability. Her research examines psychosocial factors like stress, coping, adaptation and communication, and their importance in understanding the impact of chronic diseases on the lives of adults across the life course. Of particular interest is research on workplace communication, privacy, support and accommodation needs among individuals living with chronic, episodic conditions.
Gignac's research program is strongly collaborative. She works with clinicians, epidemiologists, health economists, sociologists and health psychologists. Study designs in her research program span community health surveys, qualitative research, measurement design and evaluation, and analyses of population health datasets.
Gignac has received recognition for her research with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award (2013); an award for outstanding leadership and research from the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (2011); Distinguished Scholar (2013), Lecturer (2014) and service awards (2019, 2021) from the international Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP); and recognition for mentorship (2015) from the Health Care, Technology and Place (HCTP) Strategic Research Training Program funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Care (CIHR).
“Many chronic physical and mental health conditions create ongoing challenges for those living with them. That's because their symptoms are often invisible. They're also intermittent in impact and therefore highly unpredictable. That creates a lot of stress and hard-to-answer questions. Should a person disclose their health condition at work? How does a person get support from others during times of difficulty without affecting their career? My goal is to apply research to improve the health and work outcomes of individuals living with these conditions.” – Dr. Monique Gignac
- Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities (ACED): A partnership to deliver workplace resources to sustain employment of people with chronic, episodic conditions. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Signature Initiative. Ongoing. (PI on the project)
- Champions as social agents of change: what can we learn from worker well-being initiatives?. Funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Ongoing.
- Conceal or reveal? Facilitators and barriers to older workers' communication of accommodation needs. Funded by Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada. Ongoing. (PI on the project)
- Developing approaches to measuring the dimensions of gender and their relationship to health outcomes. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Ongoing.
- Future-focused job accommodation practices for the school-to-work transition . Funded by Accessibility Standards Canada (Government of Canada). Ongoing.
- Hammond A, Tennant A, Ching A, Parker J, Prior Y, Gignac MA, Verstappen SMM, O'Brien R. Psychometric testing of the British English Long-Term Conditions Job Strain Scale, Long-Term Conditions Work Spillover Scale and Work-Health-Personal Life Perceptions Scale in four rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Musculoskeletal Care. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1002/msc.1774.
- Shahidi FV, Jetha A, Kristman VL, Smith PM, Gignac MA. The employment quality of persons with disabilities: findings from a national survey. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1007/s10926-023-10113-7.
- Hammond A, Tennant A, Ching A, Parker J, Prior Y, Gignac MA. Psychometric testing of the British English Workplace Activity Limitations Scale in four rheumatic and musculoskeletal conditions. Rheumatology Advances in Practice. 2023;7(1):rkad028. doi:10.1093/rap/rkad028.
- Martin Ginis KA, Jetha A, Gignac MA. Experiential aspects of employment and their relationship with work outcomes: a cross-sectional study using a novel measure of participation in workers with and without physical disabilities. Disability and Health Journal. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1016/j.dhjo.2023.101448.
- Boonen A, Webers C, Butink M, Barten B, Betteridge N, Black DC, Bremander A, Boteva B, Brzezinska O, Chauhan L, Copsey S, Guimaraes V, Gignac MA. 2021 EULAR points to consider to support people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases to participate in healthy and sustainable paid work. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2023;82(1):57-64. doi:10.1136/ard-2022-222678.
Speaker Series presentations
- Unveiling the JDAPT: A new interactive tool to identify work-related support strategies for workers with chronic conditions and disability. IWH Speaker Series. March 21, 2023.
- What do workplaces need to know to help older workers stay on the job? A qualitative study of older workers’ disclosure decisions. IWH Speaker Series. September 20, 2022.
- Does it matter what workers’ reasons are for disclosing or not disclosing a disability at work? Why and how?. IWH Speaker Series. November 24, 2020.
- Challenges in accommodating mental and physical health conditions: What workplace parties are saying. IWH Speaker Series. June 12, 2018.
Interviews and articles
- IWH launches tool to help workers with chronic conditions find job-tailored accommodations. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 113, .
- Older employees reluctant to ask for support: study. Canadian HR Reporter. November 30, 2022. Available from: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/culture-and-engagement/older-employees-reluctant-to-ask-for-support-study/371977
- Older workers not prone to ask for employer support, citing ageism and other issues. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 110, Fall 2022.
- How workplaces can support staff with MS. Canadian Occupational Safety. September 27, 2021. Available from: https://www.thesafetymag.com/ca/topics/occupational-hygiene/how-workplaces-can-support-staff-with-ms/311283
- Lack of support at work makes COVID worse for people with disabilities. Canadian HR Reporter. August 9, 2021. Available from: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/compensation-and-benefits/lack-of-support-at-work-makes-covid-worse-for-people-with-disabilities/358771