Peter Loewen

Associate Professor

Research Interests

atrial fibrillation
Thrombosis and Embolism
adherence to medication
Cardiovascular diseases
Heart Failure
Health Care Technologies
Professional Practices
decision making
clinical prediction rules
healthcare communication technologies
hospital pharmacy practice
knowledge translation of evidence to patient care
patient complexiometry
patient decision aids
patient education
pharmacy practice
prediction of stroke and bleeding in atrial fibrillation patients
quality of care, quality drug therapy
Shared decision-making
stroke prevention therapy
use of mobile technology for clinical decision-making

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research projects.

Research Methodology

prospective observational studies
retrospective observational studies
Qualitative Research
Randomized Controlled Trials
patient preferences & decision-making


Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
Any time / year round

In the above domains, to be worked out with excellent candidates. I am well funded by CIHR and have an excellent track record of mentoring MSc and PhD students. 

I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).
I am interested in hiring Co-op students for research placements.

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

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These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Huge thanks, from the bottom of my heart to my #GreatSupervisor, Dr. Peter Loewen, for supporting me and believing in me (sometimes more than I believe in myself), in the past 3 years. I am a better person because of you.

Shahrzad Salmasi (2019)


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Adherence to oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation (2021)

Objective:The overall aim of this dissertation was to provide a better understanding of adherence to oral anticoagulants (OACs) in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods:Meta-analysis was used to summarize the current evidence on patients’ adherence. Population-based administrative data of British Columbia (BC) was used to develop a cohort of adults with AF. Random-effects multivariable regression modeling was used to develop and validate a method, called REWarDS, to estimate patient’s individualized daily dose of warfarin and facilitate measurement of adherence to this medication. OAC adherence was measured over follow-up by creating time windows. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to characterize adherence trajectories. Regression analyses were used to identify the factors associated with adherence, and adherence trajectories. Results:Systematic review and meta-analysis found that one year after therapy initiation patients, on average, miss 27% of their doses. REWarDS was found to be accurate with superior performance over current methods for estimating exposure to warfarin. 54% of the patients in the cohort were found to be nonadherent to their OAC, missing, on average, 32% of their doses. The greatest decline in adherence was observed in the first year of therapy. Patients were found to exhibit four distinct long-term adherence trajectories. Being on Vitamin K Antagonist (VKA) was associated with statistically significantly 13% higher adherence compared to being on Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOAC). Over time, however, adherence increased for DOAC but decreased for VKA. Clinical and demographic factors, while readily available in administrative databases, do not have adequate discriminatory power to predict patients’ adherence trajectories. Conclusion:Adherence in patients with AF was found to be worse than previously understood. Identification of distinct long-term adherence trajectories revealed heterogeneity among nonadherent patients and compels tailoring interventions for different kinds of nonadherence patterns. Findings on the impact of drug class on adherence suggest that prescribers should not assume better adherence for DOACs based on their convenience. Overall, very few variables were identified to be independently associated with any specific adherence trajectory. Altogether, findings call for urgent interventions to improve adherence in patients with AF on both VKA and DOAC, particularly early after therapy initiation.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

An analysis of heart failure reduced ejection fraction pharmacotherapy sequencing strategies (2023)

The full abstract for this thesis is available in the body of the thesis, and will be available when the embargo expires.

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Oral anticoagulant switching in patients with atrial fibrillation (2022)

The full abstract for this thesis is available in the body of the thesis, and will be available when the embargo expires.

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Assessment of atrial fibrillation patients' education needs (2018)

Introduction: Education facilitates construction of a correct illness representation, corrects beliefs about medications and improves patients’ illness-treatment coherence. There is no consensus on the best education strategy for atrial fibrillation (AF) patients. Identifying patients’ education needs is the first step towards development of an effective education program.Purpose: The overall aim of this thesis was to provide insights into AF patients’ education needs from patient and clinician viewpoints, and to inform the design of AF patient education programs and initiatives.Methods: The current evidence on AF patients’ knowledge gaps was summarized through a literature review. This was followed by a qualitative descriptive study utilizing semi-structured interviews with patients and clinicians who were recruited through purposive sampling. All interviews were conducted by a Master of science student. The interviews were conducted in English, in a private room or over the phone, without the presence of any non-participants. Each interview lasted approximately 30 minutes and was audio-recorded. Verbatim transcripts were generated within three days of the interview. The reporting of this qualitative study conforms to the Standards for Reporting Qualitative Research (SQRQ) and the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (COREQ).Analysis: The analysis of the data was iterative, occurring as interviews proceeded. The interview guides were revised frequently based on the emerging data. The data collected were analyzed through inductive qualitative thematic analysis. Data from patients and clinicians were analyzed independently.Results: Eleven clinicians and ten patients were interviewed. Clinician and patient interviews led to emergence of three and four themes, respectively. This research went beyond identification of knowledge gaps by offering a rich description on patients’ misconceptions, information seeking behavior, education style preferences, attitudes towards online education, expectations of an education program, emotional education needs, preferences for risk communication, and clinicians’ views on the topic. A key finding of my study was the identification of patients’ emotional education needs: the need for education that addresses patients’ concerns and relieves their anxiety. Summarizing my study findings, I offered a set of recommendations that can be used by those involved in educating AF patients.

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