Susan Forwell


Relevant Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters


Postdoctoral Fellows

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.


Happy #GreatSupervisorWeek #GreatSupervisor #UBC to @SusanForwell @UBCOSOT @UBCmedicine @UBCGradSchool @ubcprez Looking forward to grad May 22nd! Thank-you for your mentorship! Big shout out to my committee @bcmiller1961 @RachelleHole


Thank you to @SusanForwell @UBCOSOT @ubcprez for being such a #GreatSupervisor #UBC. Your mentoring is very much appreciated! Additional thanks to my committee members @bcmiller1961 and Dr. Rachelle Hole @CICUBC for all of your support!


Graduate Student Supervision

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.

Understanding the perceptions of people with physical disability before and after an employment mentorship program (2019)

Introduction-People with disabilities face numerous employment barriers. Disability benefitssystems do not always meet beneficiary’s needs for financial stability, nor do they supportpursuit of employment as one of the criteria for benefits is “unemployable’.Objective- This study investigates the perspective on employment persons with disabilities havebefore and after their participation in an 8-month Employment Mentorship Support Program.Methods- Pre and post-intervention interviews with people with physical disabilities wereconducted and included questions related to disability benefits, goals for the program, and anyconcerns they might have. The thematic analysis of this interview data was guided byinterpretive description where the researcher used their disciplinary lens and knowledge tounderstand the phenomenon and to interpret its usefulness.Results- This thesis provides the results of the thematic analysis and a comprehensive view ofthese themes (accessibility, the right to work, difficulties obtaining work, mentorshipexpectations, and contributing to society).Conclusion- In order for change to occur in the employment sector, it is essential that appropriatepre-vocational worker skills and appropriate supports are in place. This research will informfuture programs about the perspective of and issues faced by people with disabilities consideringemployment, and provide decision makers with systematic evidence to better shape the disabilitybenefits system.

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Evaluating the comprehensive fatigue assessment battery for adults with spinal cord injury (2016)

Background: Individuals living with spinal cord injuries (SCI) are faced with the increased likelihood of secondary health complications, affecting their physical and psychological functioning. Fatigue is among the most common of these problems and has been shown to profoundly affect the lives of people living with SCI. To develop effective fatigue management programs, clinicians first must be able to identify potential causes of fatigue. However, to our knowledge, there is currently no validated, comprehensive assessment battery of this kind. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to test the convergent validity, and internal consistency of a novel Comprehensive Fatigue Assessment Battery for People with Spinal Cord Injury (CFAB-SCI) and to further our understanding of fatigue in SCI. Methods: Seventy community-dwelling adults with SCI were recruited. The participants completed the CFAB-SCI as well as six additional self-report measures to assess convergent validity with six matching sections of the battery. Convergent validity was assessed via Spearman’s ρ correlation, and internal consistency via Cronbach’s α. Open-ended survey data from the CFAB-SCI was analyzed to explore fatigue using a content analysis approach. Results: A total of 64 participants competed the study. Convergent validity and internal consistency values all exceeded the hypothesized values. Content analysis of text data revealed four major groupings when participants were asked to tell us more about their fatigue: 1) experience with fatigue; 2) impact of fatigue; 3) factors of fatigue; and 4) management of fatigue. Significance: Evidence reveals the complexity of fatigue and supports the validity and reliability of the self-report CFAB-SCI as a comprehensive, clinically useful tool to characterize fatigue in SCI. It will offer people with SCI an understanding of factors that may contribute to their fatigue experience and will direct the treatment decisions of clinicians who are intervening to mitigate the impact of fatigue.

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