Picture of Dr. Lilian Thorpe

Dr. Lilian Thorpe BSc Double Honours, MSc, MD, PhD Professor Community Health and Epidemiology

HSC E-wing 3218

Research Area(s)

  • End of life including Medical Assistance in Dying
  • Cognitive disorders including dementia and postoperative delirium in the elderly
  • Epidemiology particularly related to aging


Early career primary research activities focused largely on developmental disabilities, starting with a longitudinal study exploring aging in people with intellectual disabilities. More recent activities have focused more on aging related issues including complex comorbidities and cognitive impairment as well as issues related to long-term care. Currently much of academic activities (including teaching, community outreach, advocacy and research) focuses more on end of life matters such as medical assistance in dying. One such SHRF funded study is one exploring the perspectives, knowledge, knowledge-seeking behaviours, experiences, and needs of individuals who are living with multiple sclerosis, their family members, friends or supporters, and care providers regarding medical assistance in dying. Non-MAID related research includes a collaborative SHRF funded project with anesthesia on experiences of older patients, their families, and healthcare providers with delirium after surgery: an action research study to improve patient and family centered care.

Teaching activities within Community Health and Epidemiology include interactive workshops on evidence-based medicine and critical appraisal to Royal College Specialty residents within the College of Medicine and directing the yearly Medical Council of Canada Review course for fourth year medicinal students, focusing on health care, ethics and legal issues. Regular teaching activities within psychiatry include directing the weekly geriatric psychiatry tutorials for the psychiatry residents and teaching selected aging related topics within the undergraduate curriculum. Unscheduled teaching activities largely focus on capacity assessment, with sessions presented to many categories of learners.

Very considerable community outreach and teaching activities include teaching sessions on capacity, vulnerable adults, ethics and end of life issues including medical assistance in dying (MAID). National professional activities include development of practice standards for MAID for patients with sole mental Illness (Health Canada committee representing the prairies), development of national curricula on assessing capacity and vulnerability in MAID, development of practice guidelines for patients with chronic complex conditions asking for MAID and teaching other MAID assessors and providers. Ongoing membership in the Saskatchewan Health Authority/Saskatchewan Cancer Agency Joint Ethics Committee helps continued awareness and focus on complex ethics challenges in health care.

Selected Publications

Books, Chapters In Books Expository And Review Articles

  • Thorpe L, Jokinen N, Stemp S. Aging in people with developmental disabilities. Invited chapter written for the book Developmental Disabilities in Ontario, fourth edition, edited by Maire Percy and Ivan Brown. Ontario Association on Intellectual Disabilities, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (August 13, 2020) 

Papers In Refereed Journals

  • Hernandez-Ronquillo L, Thorpe L, Feng C, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of ambulatory EEG vs routine EEG in patients with first single unprovoked seizure. Neurol Clin Pract. 2023;13(3): e200160. DOI: 10.1212/CPJ.0000000000200160
  • Tauh S, Nickel D, Thorpe L, Brown J, Linassi G. Perspectives on medical assistance in dying amongst persons with traumatic spinal cord injury: a qualitative study. Spinal Cord. 2022 Apr 8. doi: 10.1038/s41393-022-00793-y. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35396457.
  • Denton A, Thorpe L, Carter A, Angarita-Fonseca A, Waterhouse K, Hernandez Ronquillo L. Definitions and Risk Factors for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy in an Adult Cohort. Front Neurol. 2021 Dec 13;12:777888. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2021.777888. PMID: 34966348; PMCID: PMC8710721.
  • Cheng Y, Thorpe L, Kabir R, Lim HJ. Latent class growth modeling of depression and anxiety in older adults: an 8-year follow-up of a population-based study. BMC Geriatr. 2021 Oct 13;21(1):550. doi: 10.1186/s12877-021-02501-6. PMID: 34645416; PMCID: PMC8515663.
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Thorpe L, Hodson A, Chipanshi M. Factors influencing practitioners' who do not participate in ethically complex, legally available care: scoping review. BMC Med Ethics. 2021 Sep 28;22(1):134. doi: 10.1186/s12910-021-00703-6. PMID: 34583710; PMCID: PMC8479895.
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Thorpe L, Crizzle A. I am okay with it, but I am not going to do it": The exogenous factors influencing non-participation in Medical Assistance in Dying. Qual Health Res. 2021 Oct;31(12):2274-2289. doi: 10.1177/10497323211027130. Epub 2021 Jul 8. PMID: 34238079
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Thorpe L, Crizzle A. "What is right for me, is not necessarily right for you": The endogenous factors influencing nonparticipation in Medical Assistance in Dying. Qual Health Res. 2021 Aug;31(10):1786-1800. doi: 10.1177/10497323211008843. Epub 2021 May 3. PMID: 33938306; PMCID: PMC8446887.
  • Kalu ME, Dal Bello-Haas V, Hadjistavropoulos T, Thorpe L, Griffin M, Ploeg J, Richardson J. The Effects of a Walking Intervention on Gait Parameters in Older Adults Residing in Long-Term Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Nutr Health Aging. 2021;25(9):1099-1105. doi: 10.1007/s12603-021-1683-6. PMID: 34725668.
  • Hunter PV, Rissling A, Pickard L, Thorpe L, Hadjistavropoulos T. Intervention Fidelity of a Volunteer-Led Montessori-Based Intervention in a Canadian Long-Term Care Home. Can J Aging. 2021 Jun;40(2):293-305. doi: 10.1017/S071498082000029X. Epub 2020 Sep 30. PMID: 32993823.
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Thorpe L. Medical Assistance in Dying in health sciences curricula: A qualitative exploratory study. Can Med Educ J. 2020 Dec 7;11(6):e79-e89. doi: 10.36834/cmej.69325. PMID: 33349757; PMCID: PMC7749690.
  • Lim HJ, Cheng Y, Kabir R, Thorpe L. Trajectories of Depression and Their Predictors in a Population-Based Study of Korean Older Adults. Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2021 Oct;93(3):834-853. doi: 10.1177/0091415020944405. Epub 2020 Aug 24. PMID: 32830531.
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Harrison A, Kemp J, Thorpe L, Weiler R. Care considerations in a patient- and family-centered Medical Assistance in Dying program. J Palliat Care. 2020 Aug 28:825859720951661. doi: 10.1177/0825859720951661. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32854581.
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Harrison A, Kemp J, Thorpe L, Weiler R. Medical Assistance in Dying: Patients', Families', and Health Care Providers' Perspectives on Access and Care Delivery [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 17]. J Palliat Med. 2020;doi: 10.1089/jpm.2019.0509
  • Hernández-Ronquillo L, Thorpe L, Dash D, Hussein T, Hunter G, Waterhouse K, Laboni Roy P, Téllez-Zenteno JF. Diagnostic Accuracy of the Ambulatory EEG vs. Routine EEG for First Single Unprovoked Seizures and Seizure Recurrence: The DX-Seizure Study. Front Neurol. 2020 Apr 9;11:223. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2020.00223. PMID: 32328023; PMCID: PMC7160330.
  • Whiting SJ, Li W, Singh N, Quail J, Dust W, Hadjistavropoulos T, Thorpe LU. Predictors of hip fractures and mortality in long-term care homes in Saskatchewan: Does vitamin D supplementation play a role? J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2020 Mar 10;200:105654. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105654.
  • Hunter PV, Thorpe L, Hounjet C, Hadjistavropoulos T. Using Normalization Process Theory to Evaluate the Implementation of Montessori-Based Volunteer Visits Within a Canadian Long-Term Care Home. Gerontologist. 2020 Jan 24;60(1):182-192. doi: 10.1093/geront/gny103. PMID: 30219890.
  • Thorpe LU, Whiting SJ, Dal Bello-Haas V, Hadjistavropoulos T. An evaluation of a walking and socialization program in long-term care: Impact on injurious falls. International Journal of Aging Research, 2019, 2:31. DOI: 10.28933/ijoar-2019-03-0405
  • Brown J, Thorpe L, Goodridge D. Completion of Medical Certificates of Death after an Assisted Death: An Environmental Scan of Practices. Healthcare Policy 2018;14(2):59-67.doi:10.12927/hcpol.2018.25685
  • Esmaeelzadeh S, Moraros J, Thorpe L, Bird Y. Examining the association and directionality between mental health disorders and substance use among adolescents and young adults in the U.S. and Canada – a systematic review and meta-analysis. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(12), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7120543
  • Elamoshy R, Bird Y, Thorpe L, Moraros J. Examining the association between diabetes, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation among aboriginal Canadian peoples living off-reserve: a cross-sectional, population based study. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy 2018:11 767–780. DOI: 10.2147/DMSO.S184058
  • Esmaeelzadeh S, Moraros J, Thorpe L, Bird Y. The association between depression, anxiety and substance use among Canadian post-secondary students. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2018:14 3241–3251. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S187419
  • Elamoshy R, Bird Y, Thorpe L, Moraros J. Risk of depression and suicidality among diabetic patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J. Clin. Med. 2018, 7(11), 445; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm7110445
  • Hunter PV, Thorpe L, Hounjet C, Hadjistavropoulos T. Using Normalization Process Theory to evaluate the implementation of Montessori-based volunteer visits within a Canadian long-term care home. The Gerontologist, 2018 58(Sep 14). doi: 10.1093/geront/gny103. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023901
  • Brown J, Goodridge D, Thorpe L, Chipanski M. Factors contributing to practitioner choice when declining involvement in legally available care: A scoping protocol. BMJ Open. 2018 Aug 17;8(8):e023901. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023901.
  • Hernández-Ronquillo L, Thorpe L, Pahwa P, Téllez-Zenteno JF. Secular trends and population differences in the incidence of epilepsy. A population-based study from Saskatchewan, Canada. Seizure. 2018 Aug;60:8-15. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2018.05.018. Epub 2018 May 28. PMID: 29864609
  • Thorpe L, Whiting S, Li W, Dust W, Pahwa P, Hadjistavropoulos T, Teare G. The incidence of hip fractures in long-term care homes from 2008 to 2012: An analysis of provincial administrative databases. Can Geriatr J. 2017 Sep 28;20(3):97-104. doi: 10.5770/cgj.20.273. eCollection 2017 Sep. PMID: 28983383
  • Di Y, Jones J, Mansell K, Whiting S, Fowler S, Thorpe L, Billinsky J, Viveky N, Cheng PC, Almousa A, Hadjistavropoulos T, Alcorn J. Influence of flaxseed lignan supplementation to older adults on biochemical and functional outcome measures of inflammation. J Am Coll Nutr. 2017 Nov-Dec;36(8):646-653. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2017.1342213. Epub 2017 Sep 18. 18.
  • Alcorn J, Whiting S, Viveky N, Di Y, Mansell K, Fowler S, Thorpe L, Almousa A, Cheng PC, Jones J, Billinsky J, Hadjistavropoulos T. Protocol for a 24-Week Randomized Controlled Study of Once-Daily Oral Dose of Flax Lignan to Healthy Older Adults. JMIR Res Protoc 2017;6(2):e14. doi: 10.2196/resprot.6817
  • Lim HJ, Min DK, Thorpe LU, Lee CH. Trajectories of Life Satisfaction and their Predictors among Korean Older Adults. BMC Geriatrics 2017 Apr 19;17(1):89. doi: 10.1186/s12877-017-0485-5
  • Whiting SJ, Cheng PC, Thorpe LU, Viveky N, Alcorn J, Hadjistavropoulos T, Dahl W. Review: hand grip strength as a potential nutritional assessment tool in long-term care homes. Journal of Ageing research and Healthcare 2016;1(2): DOI: 10.14302/issn.2474-7785.jarh-16-1177
  • Lim HJ, Min DaeKee, Thorpe L, Lee C. Multidimensional construct of life satisfaction in the elderly in Korea: A six-year follow-up study. BMC Geriatrics 2016; 16:197. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12877-016-0369-0
  • Hunter PV, Hadjistavropoulos T, Thorpe L, Lix LM, Malloy D. The influence of individual and organizational factors on person-centred dementia care. Aging Ment Health. 2016 Jul;20(7):700-8. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1056771. Epub 2015 Jun 22.
  • Thorpe L. Re: Long-Term Efficacy and Toxicity of Cholinesterase Inhibitors in the Treatment of Alzheimer Disease. Can J Psychiatry. 2015 Jul;60(7):338. doi: 10.1177/070674371506000711
  • Viveky N, Thorpe L., Alcorn J., Whiting S., Hadjistavropoulos T. Safety evaluation of flaxseed lignan supplementation in older adults residing in long-term care homes. Journal of Nursing Home Research 2015;1:84-88. DOI:10.14283/jnhrs.2015.17
  • Goorang S., Thorpe L., Baillod A., Whiting S. Concurrent use of vitamin and mineral supplements, and medications in long-term care facility residents with advanced dementia. Jour Nursing Home Res 2015;1:77-80
  • Thorpe LU, Knox K, Jalbert R, Lim, Hyun-Ja, Nickel D, Hader WJ. Predictors of institutionalization for people with Multiple Sclerosis. Disabil Health J. 2015 Apr;8(2):271-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2014.10.002
  • Billinsky J, Glew RA, Cornish SM, Whiting SJ. Thorpe LU, Alcorn A, Paus-Jenssen L, Hadjistavropoulos T, Chilibeck PD. No evidence of hypoglycaemia or hypotension in older adults during six months of flax lignan supplementation in a randomized controlled trial: A safety evaluation. Pharm Biol. 2013 Jun;51(6):778-82. DOI: 10.3109/13880209.2013.766220
  • Viveky N, Billinsky J, Thorpe L, Alcorn J, Whiting S, Hadjistavropoulos T. Challenges in planning long-term care menus that meet dietary recommendations. Can J Diet Pract Res. 2013 Jun;74(2):84-7.
  • Viveky N, Billinsky J, Thorpe L, Alcorn J, Hadjistavropoulos T, Whiting S. Association of inflammatory markers with cognitive, pain and functionality assessment measures in long term care older adults (published conference abstract). The FASEB Journal. 2013;27:lb323. DOI: 10.3148/74.2.2013.84
  • Ghandehari OO, Hadjistavropoulos T, Williams J, Thorpe L, Alfano DP, Dal Bello Haas V, Malloy DC, Martin RR, Rahaman O, Zwakhalen SMG, Carleton RN, Hunter PV, Lix L. A controlled investigation of continuing pain education for long-term care staff. Pain Research and Management 2013;18(1):11-18. DOI: 10.1155/2013/395481