Papadakis, Sophia

Sophia Papadakis is Program Director, Champlain CVD Prevention Network & Primary Care Smoking Cessation Program, Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa.  


Papadakis received her PhD in 2011 from the Faculty of Public Health and Healthy Systems at the University of Waterloo.  She received a Master's in Health Administration in 2004 from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa. She joined the Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in 1998 and has been involved in leadership roles for several large research and knowledge translation initiatives.

Papadakis' expertise lies in the area of health system and population health approaches to cardiovascular disease prevention. She has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on more than 15 research projects with $1.7 million in peer reviewed research funding and more than $5.8 million in knowledge translation project funding. She is currently Co-Principal Investigator of large randomized trial of the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. 

She has held training and research fellowships from the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Strategic Training Program in Tobacco Research and the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. Papadakis is the past recipient of the best trainee awards from the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, Ottawa Heart Institute (Population Health), Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance of Canada, Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation.  In 2006, she was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Award of Excellence from the Canadian Association of Health Service Executives.

The most significant product of Papadakis' work has been the establishment of the Champlain CVD Prevention Network (CCPN), a network of partners dedicated to the prevention of cardiovascular disease in the Champlain District of Ontario. Her research program has focused on designing and evaluation of an adaptation of the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation, originally developed for use in hospitals settings, for use in Primary Care settings. This research has supported the creation of a network of more than 40 family health teams and 120 clinics across the province of Ontario who are partnered with the Ottawa Model.  Papadakis is also the Co-Principal Investigator on a longitudinal study examining dietary sodium reduction behaviours in a sample of 12,000 Ontario residents.

Research and clinical interests

Papadakis' specific research interests are: Cardiovascular disease prevention, health services/systems research, primary health care, health behaviour change, population health intervention research, knowledge translation/transfer into practice, network development and strategic planning, smoking cessation, sodium reduction. Her current research is focused on smoking cessation in the primary care setting and health behaviour change interventions that address diet (sodium). 

Overview of Research Projects

Integrating the " Ottawa Model" for Smoking Cessation Into Routine Primary Care Practice: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

Sponsor: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario
Principal Investigators: Sophia Papadakis and Dr. Andrew Pipe

The "Ottawa Model" for Smoking Cessation (OMSC) is a multi-component intervention for addressing tobacco use with smokers in clinical settings. The OMSC has been designed to integrate existing knowledge regarding behaviour change in clinical settings and evidence-based approaches for smoking cessation. The overarching philosophy of the model is to generate "more supported quit attempts, more often" by systematically providing cessation advice during teachable moments in key clinical settings as part of a population health approach to address cessation. A two-arm pre-post cluster randomized controlled trial will be used to compare the effectiveness of the OMSC for integrating smoking cessation treatments into routine primary care practice compared to a control condition. Twenty family medicine practices will be randomly assigned to one of the two intervention arms. Practices assigned to the OMSC Group Practices will be supported in implementing the OMSC using a multi-component intervention program which involves four components: (1) coaching and outreach facilitation visits; (2) practice tools and real time prompts; (3) training; and (4) patient telephone-based follow-up support program. All clinicians in control group clinics will receive an information leaflet on smoking cessation best practices. The present study will provide the necessary evidence base to quantify the effectiveness of the OMSC in primary care settings. The study will provide important new evidence to assist with the development of a more comprehensive cessation system in the province of Ontario and across Canada.

Smoking Cessation Pilot Study: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial


Principal Investigators: Sophia Papadakis and Paul McDonald (U of Waterloo)
Sponsors: Canadian Tobacco Control Research Initiative (CTCRI), Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU), Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Most smokers in Canada will see a primary care provider annually. A primary care provider's cessation advice has been shown to increase long-term abstinence from smoking. There is, however, a well-documented "practice gap" between best practice and the rates at which smoking cessation is addressed by practitioners in primary care settings.

A two-arm, before-after, matched-pair cluster randomized trial was used to test the effectiveness of two strategies for integrating smoking cessation treatments into primary care practice routines and enhancing cessation.

All clinics received facilitation support and coaching in the design of their clinic protocol, training, practice and patient tools, audit and feedback reports.

Half of the practices were randomly assigned to an enhanced intervention in which clinicians were also able to refer patients to a smoker's telephone follow-up program to support their quit attempt or check in with smokers not ready to quit at the time of their visit.

Seven family medicine practices and 115 providers and 935 patients were enrolled in the pilot study. A significant increase in provider delivery of smoking cessation treatments was documented at the post-intervention assessment compared to the pre-assessment. A larger trial is required to conclusively determine the impact of the program on long-term smoking abstinence.

Implementation and Evaluation of the Champlain "Give Your Head a Shake" Sodium Reduction Campaign

Principal Investigators: Sophia Papadakis  and Andrew Pipe
Funding Partners:  Public Health Agency of Canada, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Champlain Local Health Integration Network, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ottawa Public Health,  Eastern Ontario Health Unit, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Stroke Network

Excessive consumption of dietary sodium is an important public health issue. It is estimated that Canadians are consuming twice the recommended daily intake of sodium. Evidence from meta-analyses have found higher salt intake to be associated with greater risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Little is known about the knowledge, attitudes and behaviours related to sodium consumption among Canadians

The "Give Your Head a Shake" Sodium Reduction Campaign was a 24-month bilingual mass media campaign which targeted adults aged 35-50 years with quick and easy tips to reduce their sodium intake. Over 8,800 TV, radio, print, and web advertisements and more than 100 editorial stories appeared during the 2-year campaign.

A before and after matched community evaluation was planned to evaluate the impact of the campaign. A total of four data collection panels were planned in order to assess the short- and medium-term effects of the campaign. Baseline data collection activities were completed immediately prior to the launch of the campaign and included cross-sectional, representative samples of the target audience from the Champlain region and a control community in Ontario. Data collection was repeated 6, 12, and 24 months following the launch of the campaign.


Papadakis, S., Aitken, D., Gocan, S., Riley, D., Simpson, D., Laplante, M., Bhatnagar-Bost, A., Cousineau, D., Edjoc, R,,  Gharib, M., Pipe, A., Sharma, M., Reid, R.  A randomized controlled pilot study of standardized counselling and cost-free pharmacotherapy for smoking cessation among patients with stroke and TIA. BMJ Open. 2011 Nov 28;1(2):e000366.

Papadakis, S, McDonald, P, Reid, R, Pipe, A, Mullen, K, and K. Skulsky. Strategies to improve the delivery of smoking cessation treatments in primary care: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  Preventive Medicine 2010; 51: 199-213. 

Papadakis, S., Pipe, A., Moroz, I., Reid, R., Blanchard, C., Cote, D., and Mark, A. Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours related to dietary sodium among 35 to 50 year old Ontario residents. Can J of Cardiol 2010; 26(5):e164-e169.

Pipe, A.L., Papadakis, S. and RD. Reid. The Role of Smoking Cessation in the Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. Curr Atheroscler Rep 2010 12:145–150.

Papadakis, S. and I. Moroz. Population-level interventions for coronary heart disease prevention: What have we learned since the North Karelia project? Current Opinion in Cardiology. 2008 Sep;23(5):452-61.

Papadakis S, Reid RD, Coyle D, Beaton L, Angus D, Oldridge N.  Cost-effectiveness of cardiac rehabilitation program delivery models in patients at varying cardiac risk, reason for referral, and sex.  Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008 Jun;15(3):347-353.

Papadakis, Sophia

Papadakis, Sophia


Appointments and affiliations

Assistant Professor. Division of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa

Program Director. Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network,

Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute

Program Director, Primary Care Smoking Cessation Program, Division of Prevention and Rehabilitation, University of Ottawa Heart Institute