Memorial University of Newfoundland
Epidemiology, Social & behavioural, HIV-HCV coinfection

Memorial University
School of Pharmacy, The Health Sciences Centre H4364,
300 Prince Philip Drive,
St. John's Newfoundland A1B 3V6

As a clinical epidemiologist, with a small private practice in psychotherapy and medical and analytical hypnotherapy, Dr. Mugford now holds a joint appointment with the School of Pharmacy and the Faculty of Medicine in the disciplines of medicine and psychiatry.

His primary research has been investigation of the efficacy of individual psychodynamic psychotherapies in managing psychological dysfunction in persons living with HIV/AIDS. His doctoral work related to the efficacy of long-term psychotherapeutic interventions has helped reframe the clinical care of HIV positive persons.

Dr. Mugford is currently involved in a large international project looking at the prescribing and usage patterns of benzodiazepines, which are generally used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and some seizures. The study hopes to determine the prevalence of licit as well as illicit benzodiazepine usage, assess efficacy, explore the impact on different patient populations, explore alternate therapies, and develop recommendations for improved patient care. He explained that the primary focus of the study is to look at existing prescribing patterns, particularly in the elderly and in those under 12. He said it is known that benzodiazepines are prescribed to women twice as often as men, and much more frequently to those over 65.

Additionally, Dr. Mugford and colleagues from Newfoundland and several U.S. states have begun to investigate the volume of prescription drugs in cadavers.

Along with colleagues from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Dr. Mugford has just been awarded a $600,000 CIHR grant over three years under the Social and Behavioural Research Issues in HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement (ICE) Teams Grant Program. He said this is a tremendous boost to HIV/HCV initiatives for Atlantic Canada and will be geared towards a unified Atlantic approach to improving care to persons living with HIV and HCV.

Dr. Mugford said that while he enjoys research, his favourite part of being on faculty is teaching. ¡§I love teaching graduate students and prior to this new appointment in the School of Pharmacy my teaching was generally in clinical epidemiology and also in some of the residency programs, teaching research and design and applied biostatistics. Now I will also be teaching undergraduates in the new pharmacy program ¡V it¡¦s an exciting time for me, as an epidemiologist, to be moving into another department; and there are natural links both for clinical epidemiology and pharmacy.¡¨

As an undergraduate student at Memorial, he earned a degree in psychology and went on to begin studies for a year at Concordia University. In 1996 he returned to university to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Epidemiology and completed his doctorate at Memorial. He was an ACMC/HIV Scholar in Residence from 2000 to 2002 and has been teaching clinical epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine for several years. He received a joint appointment to the Discipline of Psychiatry in the last year.