Beverley Lawson

Senior research associate & lecturer

Phone: (902) 473-4741
Mailing Address: 
Dalhousie Family Medicine
1465 Brenton Street, Suite 402
Halifax NS B3J 3T4
Research Topics:
  • Health service utilization
  • End of life care
  • Frail elderly
  • Primary healthcare
  • Program evaluation
  • Quality of care indicators
  • Quantitative and mixed methods


  • BSc (Hons), Psychology and Applied Statistics,Mount Saint Vincent University
  • MSc, Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University

Research Interests

Beverley is experienced in the development, coordination and analysis of multiple research projects centered in primary healthcare and, in particular, end of life care.

She is predominantly versed in quantitative research methods and has particular expertise in:

  • the use and analysis of administrative health databases
  • the use and development of quality indicators in the evaluation of primary care, end-of-life and frail elderly services
  • the development, administration and analysis of primary care practice and community surveys
  • program evaluation

Her research interests tend to be "population-based" and range from the provision of quality in primary health-care and the perspectives of the consumer and clinical practice quality indicators to health service utilization and experience of care during the end of life care. For over 16 years a focus has been on a population approach to health services provided at the end of life.

As director of the BRIC NS network she will use her provincial and national research experience and insights to help bring together collaborative teams of researchers, decision makers, health care providers and citizens for research projects focused on innovative primary and integrated health care improvements for populations with complex health needs.

Selected Projects

MAPP-NS: Models and Access to Family Practice in Nova Scotia. (CIHR Planning and dissemination Grant – Institute Community Support competition) Marshall Eg, Burge F, Chishom J, Gibson R Lawson B, Asghari S, Aubrey-Bassler F, Maclean C, Martin-Misener R, Mathews M, Monk M, Osmond B, Peters P, Terashima M. 

Implementing the ‘Frailty Portal’ in Community Primary Care Practice: Evaluating feasibility, effects and expansion needs. (TVN Improving Care for the Frail Elderly: Implementation Study) Moorhouse P, Burge F, Sampalli T, Lawson B, Bedford L, Gibson R, Edwards L, Warner G, Andrews M, Taylor D, Mallery L.

Enhancing the primary healthcare system’s ability to identify and plan with seriously ill frail elderly. (TVN Improving Care for the Frail Elderly: Strategic Impact Grant) Urquhart R, Burge F, Lawson B, Cash C, Johnston G,  Kotecha J, Lau F, Manuel D, Marshall E, Natarajan N,  Sampalli T, Tanuseputro P, Tschupruk C. 

Improving end-of-life care in the community. (CIHR SPOR PIHCI Network: Quick Strike Operating Grant) Manuel DG, Sattler D, Burge F, Bronskill S, Kingler C, Lawson B, Pereira J, Tanuseputro P, Urquart R. 

Environmental scan to describe the current care received by seriously ill elderly patients. (TVN Improving Care for the Frail Elderly: Environmental Scan) Giguere A, Urquhart R, Straus SE, Aubin M, Burge F, Dumont S, Durand P, Holroyd-Leduc JM, Johnston GM, Kazanjian A, Lawson B, et al.

MAPP-NS: Models and Access to Family Practice in Nova Scotia. (Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. Establishment grant) Marshall EG, Burge F, Lawson B, Gibson R, Chishom J. 

The organization, delivery, and costs of end-of-life cancer care: The potential of homecare nursing in four provinces. (Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute) Seow H, Barbera L, Burge F, Sutradhar R, Sussman J et al., Lawson B (Author) 

MAAP-NS: models and access atlas to primary care providers in Nova Scotia. (NSHRF Establishment and Development/Innovative Grant) Marshall EG, Lawson B, Burge F, Chisholm J, Gibson R.

Feasibility study to build an atlas of patient access to Nova Scotia family physicians and their models of practice. (NSHRF Development Initiative Grant) Marshall EG, Burge F, Lawson B, Gibson R, Chisholm J.

Assessing the feasibility and reliability of using administrative health data to identify transitions in care settings at the end of life. (NSHRF: Burge, Lawson, Johnston, McIntyre)

Unmet needs and unfulfilled wishes at the end of life: A population-based mortality follow-back study (CIHR: Burge, Lawson, Johnston, Asada, Flowerdew, Grunfeld)

Assessing the feasibility and acceptability of a quality outcome orientation to primary healthcare in Nova Scotia (CIHR: Burge, Lawson, Putnam, Gass, Lussing, Archibald, Natarajan)

Measurement properties of the Primary Care Practice Survey (PCPS) (CDHA Research Fund: Burge, Lawson, Edwards)

Selected Publications

Seow H, Sutradhar R, McGrail K, Fassbender K, Pataky R, Lawson B, Sussman J, Burge F, Barbera L. End-of-life cancer care: Temporal association between homecare nursing and hospitalizations. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2015 DOI:10.1089/jpm.2015:0229.

Burge F, Lawson B, Johnston G, Asada Y, McIntyre P, Flowerdew G. Preferred and actual location of death: What factors enable a preferred home death. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2015, 18(12):1054-1059 PMID: 26398744.

Seow H, Barbera L, Pataky R, Lawson B, O’Leary E, Fassbender K, McGrail K, Burge F, Brouwers M, Sutradhar R. Does increasing homecare nursing reduce emergency department visits at the end of life? A population-based cohort study of cancer decedents. Journal of Pain Symptom Management, 2015, Oct 26, PMID: 26514717.

Barbera L, Seow H, Stradhar R, Chu a, Burge F, Fassbender K, McGrail K, Lawson B, Liu Y, Pataky R, Potapov A. Quality of end-of-life cancer care in Canada: a retrospective four-province study using administrative health care data. Current Oncology, 2015, 5:341-55.

Barbera L, Seow H, Sutradhar R, McGrail K, Lawson B, Liu Y, Pataky R, Potapov A. Quality indications of End-Of-Life Care in Patients with Cancer: What Rate is Right? Journal of Oncology Practice. 2015 May; 11(3) pp 279-87 PubMed ID: 25922219.

Burge F, Lawson B, Johnston G, Asada Y, McIntyre P, Grunfeld E, Flowerdew G. Bereaved family member perceptions of patient-focused family-centred care during the last 30 days of life using a mortality follow-back survey: Does location matter: BMC Palliative Care, 2014, 13:25.

Lawson B, Van Aarsen K, Burge F. Challenges and strategies in the administration of a population based mortality follow-back survey design. BMC Palliative Care, 2013, 12: 28.

Burge F, Lawson B, Van Aarsen K, Putnam W. Assessing the feasibility of extracting clinical information to create quality indicators from primary healthcare practice electronic medical records in Nova Scotia. Healthcare Quarterly, 2013, 16(3): 34-41

Lawson B, Dicks D, MacDonald D, Burge F. Using quality indicators to evaluate the effect of an enhanced collaborative care model among a community, primary healthcare practice population. Nursing Leadership 2012, 25(3): 28-42.

Burge, F, Lawson B, Mitchell G. How to move to a palliative approach to care for people with multimorbidity. BMJ, 2012, 345:e6324 doi:10.1136/bmj.e6324.

Sloss L, Lawson B, Burge F. Spiritual and emotional support of primary informal end-of-life caregivers in Nova Scotia.  Journal of Palliative Care, 2012, 28(3):169-174.

Burge F, Lawson B, Putnam W. Assessing the acceptability of quality indicators and linkages to payment in primary care in Nova Scotia. Healthc Policy 2011;6(4) 72-83.

Putnam W, Lawson B, Buhariwalla F, Goodfellow M, Goodine RA, Hall J, Lacey K, MacDonald I, Burge FI, Natarajan N, Sketris I, Mann B, Dunbar P, Van Aarsen K, Godwin MS. Hypertension and type 2 diabetes: What family physicians can do to improve control of blood pressure - an observational study. BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:86 (11 August 2011)

Lawson B, Van Aarsen K, Latter C, Putnam W, Natarajan N, Burge F. Self-reported health beliefs, lifestyle and health behaviours in community-based patients with diabetes and hypertension.  Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 2011, 35(5):490-496.

Lawson B, Burge F. Re-examining the definition of location of death in health services research. J Palliative Care 2010;26(3):202-204.

Lawson BJ, Burge FI, McIntyre P, Field S, Maxwell D. Can the introduction of an integrated service model to an existing comprehensive palliative care service impact emergency department visits among enrolled patients? J Palliative Med 2009;12(3):245-52.

Burge F, Lawson B, Johnston G, Grunfeld E. A population based study of age inequalities in access to palliative care among cancer patients. Medical Care, 2008;46(12):1203-11.

Selected Presentations

B Lawson, F Burge G, Johnston Y, Asada G, Flowerdew, E Grunfeld. Family Physician End of Life Care: Perceptions From The First Wave of a Population-based Mortality Follow-back Study. Accepted for presentation 38th North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Conference, Seattle , Washington, Nov 13-14, 2010.

B Lawson, F Burge. Examining Short Terminal Care Hospitalizations: Which Factors Warrant Our Attention. Accepted for presentation 18th International Congress on Palliative Care, Montreal PQ, October 5-8, 2010

Lawson B, Burge F, Heath S, Ryan S. Using quality indicators to evaluate the effect of implementing an enhanced collaborative care model in community practice. 37th North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Conference, Montreal, QC, Nov 14-18, 2009.