Picture of  Tarun Katapally

Tarun Katapally PhD, MSc, MBBS JSGS Faculty, U of R

Associate Professor, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina

Areas of Interest

  • Population health policy interventions
  • Active living policy
  • Indigenous health
  • Child and youth health
  • Health policy
  • Health geography
  • Digital epidemiology
  • Computational epidemiology
  • Mixed-methods
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Integrated knowledge translation

About

Dr. Tarun Katapally is a physician and a population health policy researcher. After obtaining clinical experience in India and the United Kingdom, Dr. Katapally went on to diversify his career towards health administration and population health policy. Apart from his clinical degree, he has a masters in health administration from Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia and a PhD in population health science from the college of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Katapally brings a global perspective to policy research by combining his clinical experience with interdisciplinary epidemiological methods. His research network spans across diverse institutions both within and outside Canada.

Currently, he holds an adjunct faculty position in the college of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and is a research affiliate with the Indigenous Peoples’ Health Research Centre and the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture. Internationally, he is the India lead for the generation of the Global Report Card on physical activity of children, a knowledge translation endeavour to inform policy on active living across 40 countries. Dr. Katapally’s expertise is in linking advanced mixed-methods and complex analytical techniques with community-based participatory research to understand the impact of policy and policy-driven contexts and systems on health and wellbeing of populations. Increasingly, his focus is on the usage of digital epidemiological tools in informing active living policy through integrated knowledge translation to promote the health of vulnerable populations such as Indigenous youth.

Dr. Katapally is currently accepting applications from potential master’s students specifically for two projects: Smart Active Living Policy and Active Play Among Early Years Children: A Randomized Community Trial.

Designations

  • PhD in Population Health Science, University of Saskatchewan
  • MS in Health Administration, Saint Joseph'ss University
  • MBBS in Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Gulbarga University

Recent Grants/Awards

Grants

  • 2017, Nominated Principal Investigator. "Mobilizing a land-based culturally appropriate active living intervention among Indigenous Youth." Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Project Grant. $772,650.
  • 2017, Nominated Principal Applicant. "Impact of childcare policies and programs on early years children's physical activity: A natural experiment." Lawson Foundation, National Board Member Annual Grant. $20,000
  • 2016, Nominated Principal Investigator. "Smart Active Living Policy". Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and YMCA, Establishment Grant. $118,500 (SHRF), $360,000 (YMCA, in-kind contribution)
  • 2016. Collaborator. "Developing an integrated healthcare delivery model for Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan", Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Planning and Dissemination Grant. $10,861
  • 2016. Nominated Principal Applicant. "Closing the Gap: Indigenous Health Innovations Forum." Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF),Research Connections Grant. $4,000
  • 2016. Principal Applicant. "Working Upstream: Indigenization of Policy to Minimize Health Inequities." University of Regina, Indigenization Fund, $1,500.
  • 2016. Principal Applicant. "Development of Tri-Council Grant Proposal." University of regina, VPR Discretionary Funds. $5,000
  • 2015. Nominated Principal Investigator. "2016 India Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth", EduSports, Global Matrix 2.0., $1,000 (USD).
  • 2013, Co-applicant. "A step towards creating active urban communities", Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Open Operating Grant, $284,958.

Select Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Manyanga T, Barnes JD, Abdeta C, Adeniy AF, Bhawra J, Draper CE, Katapally TR, Khan A, Lambert E, Makaza D, Nyawornota VK, Ocansey R, Subedi N, Uddin R, Tladi D, Tremblay MS. Indicators of physical activity among children and youth in nine countries with low and medium Human Development Indices: A Global Matrix 3.0 paper. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. (Under-Review).
  • Katapally TR, Bhawra J, Leatherdale ST, Ferguson L, Longo J, Rainham D, Larouche R, Osgood N. The SMART study, a mobile health and citizen science methodological platform for active living surveillance, integrated knowledge translation, and policy interventions: longitudinal study. JMIR Pub Health Surveillance 2018;4(1):e1.
  • Katapally TR, Thorisdottir AS, Laxer R, Qian W, Leatherdale ST. The association of school connectedness and bullying involvement with multiple screen time behaviours among youth in two Canadian provinces: A COMPASS study. Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada  (In-Press).
  • Katapally TR, Bhawra J. A systematic review of the evolution of GPS use in active living research: from traditional methods to geocaching, gamification, and natural experiments. American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Under-Review).
  • Katapally TR, Laxer R, Qian W, Leatherdale S. Do school physical activity policies and programs have a role in decreasing multiple screen time behaviours among youth? A hierarchical cross-jurisdictional comparison. Preventive Medicine 2017 [In-Press]. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2017.11.026
  • Janzen B, Karunanayake C, Rennie D, Katapally TR, Dyck R, MCMullin K, Fenton M, Ramsden V, Dosman J, Abonyi S, Pahwa P. Racial discrimination and depression among on-reserve First Nations people in rural Saskatchewan. Canadian Journal of Public Health 2017 [In-Press].
  • Belanger M, Katapally TR, Sabiston C, Barnett T, Maximova K, O’Loughlin J. Sustained participation in running, sports, fitness and dance activities throughout adolescence and body composition in adulthood: A longitudinal analysis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2017 [In-Press].
  • Marchildon GP, Beck C, Katapally TR, Episkenew J, Abonyi S, Dosman J, Pahwa P. Bifurcation of health policy regimes: A study of sleep apnea care and benefits coverage in Saskatchewan. Healthcare Policy 2017; 12 (4): 69–85. http://www.longwoods.com/content/25097
  • Katapally TR, Goenka S, Bhawra J, Mani S, Ghattu KV, Kehoe SH, Lamkang AS, Raj M. Results from the India 2016 report card on physical activity of children and youth. Journal of Physical Activity and Health. Available online
  • Tremblay MS, Aguilar-Farias N, Akinroye KK, Al-Kuwari MG, Amornsriwat-anakul A, Aubert S, Barnes JD, Belton S, Gołdys A, González SA, Herrera-Cuenca M, Jeon JY, Jürimäe J, Katapally TR et al. Global matrix 2.0: report card grades on the physical activity of children and youth comparing 38 countries. Journal of Physical Activity and Health
  • Katapally TR, Rainham D, Muhajarine N. The influence of weather variation, urban design and built environment on objectively measured sedentary behaviour in children. AIMS Public Health.
  • Katapally TR, Rainham D, Muhajarine N.  A methodology to leverage cross-sectional accelerometry to capture weather’s influence in active living research. Canadian Journal of Public Health.
  • Katapally TR, Abonyi S, Episkenew J,  Ramsden VR, Karunanayake C, Kirychuk S, Rennie D, Dosman J, Pahwa P. Catalyzing action on First Nations respiratory health using community-based participatory research: integrated knowledge translation through strategic symposia. Engaged Scholar Journal.
  • Marchildon GP, Katapally TR, Beck C, Episkenew J, Pahwa p, Abonyi S, Dosman J. Exploring policy driven systemic inequities leading to differential access to care among Indigenous populations with obstructive sleep apnea in Canada. International Journal for Equity in Health.
  • Marchildon GP, Beck C, Katapally TR, Episkenew J, Abonyi S, Dosman J,Pahwa p. Bifurcation of Health Policy Regimes: A Study of Sleep Apnea Care and Benefits Coverage in Saskatchewan. Healthcare Policy.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Capturing the interrelationship between objectively measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour in children in the context of diverse environmental exposures. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2015; 12(9):10995-11011. doi:10.3390/ijerph120910995. Available online
  • Katapally TR, Rainham D, Muhajarine N. Factoring in weather variation to capture the influence of urban design and built environment on globally recommended levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity in children . BMJ Open.
  • Pahwa P, Abonyi S, Karunanayake C, Rennie DC, Janzen B, Kirychuk S, Lawson JA, Katapally TR et al. A community-based participatory research methodology to address, redress, and reassess disparities in respiratory health among First Nations. BMC Research Notes. 2015; 8:199. doi: 10.1186/s13104-015-1137-5. Available online
  • Muhajarine N, Katapally TR, Fuller D, Stanley KG, Rainham D. Longitudinal active living research to address physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in children in transition from preadolescence to adolescence. BMC Public Health 2015; 15: 495. DOI 10.1186/s12889-015-1822-2. Available online
  • Béland D, Katapally TR. Shaping policy change in population health. International Journal of Health Policy and Management 2017 [Accepted].
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. (2014) "Towards uniform accelerometry analysis: A standardization methodology to minimize measurement bias due to systematic accelerometer wear-time variation", Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 2014; 13: 379-386
  • Katapally TR, Sharada AV, Krishnan S. (2009) "Acute renal failure in ICU", Journal of Indian Medical Association, 2009; 107(3):160-163
  • Katapally TR, Belanger M, Sabiston C, Barnett T, Maximova K, O’Loughlin J. Sustained participation in running, sports, fitness and dance activities throughout adolescence and body composition in adulthood: A longitudinal analysis. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. (under-review)

Non Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Katapally TR, Goenka S, Bhawra J, Mani S, Ghattu KV, Kehoe SH, Lamkang AS, Raj M, McNutt K. India report card 2016 on physical activity for children and youth: short form. Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance.
  • Katapally TR, Goenka S, Bhawra J, Mani S, Ghattu KV, Kehoe SH, Lamkang AS, Raj M, McNutt K.India report card 2016 on physical activity for children and youth: long form. Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance.
  • Katapally TR, Leroux J, Kukaswadia A. Conferences: A life course perspective from aspiring public and population health researchers. CPHA Health Digest.
  • Katapally TR. CPHA 2013 Annual Conference: The events that cumulatively challenged my thought process. CPHA Health Digest

Abstract

  • Katapally TR, Froehlich Chow A, Humbert L, Leis A, Muhajarine N.  Validation of standardization methodology to minimize measurement bias due to systematic accelerometer wear-time variation in preschoolers, adolescents, and adults. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Obesity traffic stop: A population health intervention tool combining physical activity and sedentary behaviour guidelines. Canadian Journal of Diabetes.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Influence of neighbourhood built environment on moderate to vigorous physical activity in 10-14 year old children. American Journal of Epidemiology

Current Research

  • Land-based Culturally Appropriate Active Living in Indigenous Youth - This five-year land-based active living intervention has been conceptualized by combining western and Indigenous methods (two-eyed seeing). The study utilizes both objective physical activity and contextual measurement using smartphones and accelerometers, as well as multi-method qualitative approaches to understand how a land-based culturally appropriate active living intervention would influence eudaimonic wellbeing among Indigenous youth. The study uses both community-based participatory research action and citizen science approaches in engaging youth in all seasons. Moreover, the intervention is rooted in Indigenous methodologies, with self-determination as a central goal to transform colonial bonds and mobilize local resources (including local traditional knowledge) towards a process of healing. The intervention involves communities across Saskatchewan: File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council Region (Southern Saskatchewan), Prince Albert Grand Council (Central Saskatchewan), and Northern Lights School Division (Northern Saskatchewan).
  • SMART Study (www.smartstudysask.com) - SMART Study is a three-year longitudinal observational study that uses citizen science to understand the influence of upstream determinants of active living on patterns of movement across seasons among citizen scientists in Regina and Saskatoon. The study utilizes smartphone sensors and ecological momentary assessments that are triggered based on user location, movement, and social context. The smartphone functions that are being used in this study include global positioning system (GPS), accelerometer, camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, gyroscope, among many other functions. This approach will be important to active living research, as the advanced methods used here could be replicated to develop evidence-based active living policies and programs specific to different jurisdictions.
  • Impact of Childcare Policies and Programs on Early Years Children's Physical Activity: A natural experiment - This is a prospective community trial that investigates the effect of different policy, program, and physical environment settings across the four childcare settings in Regina on active play among early years children (2-5 years). In essence, it will be a natural experiment to inform future policies and programs by evaluating the impact of existing settings.
  • Informing Upstream Evidence-based Policies to Minimize Screen Time Amount Youth: A compass sub-study - This project uses data from the COMPASS Study’s prospective quasi-experimental platform to evaluate the influence of school policies and programs on youth behaviour across Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec (https://uwaterloo.ca/compass-system/compass-system-projects/compass-study). The project is divided into two phases: 1. Informing school policies by understanding the influence of school physical activity policies and programs on multiple screen time behaviours among youth. 2. Informing school policies by understanding the influence of school bullying policies and perception of school connectedness on multiples screen time behaviours among youth. The multiple types of screen time include: television viewing, video gaming, Internet usage, and texting.
  • Global Matrix 3.0: Cross-country Knowledge Translation - Global Matrix 3.0 is the next installment (2018) of the twice-yearly international initiatives that Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance conducts. In 2016, Global Matrix 2.0 evaluated various aspects of child and youth active living in 38 countries spread across six continents (https://www.activehealthykids.org/). Global Matrix 3.0 is scaling up the project to include 52 countries. As part of this initiative, country-specific teams are developing Report Cards by appraising current evidence using rigorous methods and by assigning standardized grades to previously developed indicators of active living. The Report Cards summarizes current evidence on not only key contexts such as family and peers, schools, and neighbourhood environment, but also the government strategies, policies, and investments that impact these contexts. The Report Cards will be unveiled in December 2018 in Aldelaide, Australia.
  • SMART India- SMART India will leverage innovative, smartphone-based methods that are currently being employed by the Saskatchewan-based SMART study (www.smartstudysask.ca) to collect physical activity and complex contextual data by engaging with Indian children and youth in two mega cities: Delhi and Chennai. SMART Study is one of the few initiatives in the world utilizing this novel approach, which combines population health research with computational epidemiology, for physical activity data collection and analysis.
  • SMART Youth - SMART Youth extend SMART study to schools in Saskatchewan, where we will work closely with the school boards and individual schools in giving youth and educators the opportunity to become citizen scientists. As part of this initiative, we hope to co-create knowledge with schools, where youth share their perceptions of school environment, as well as behavioural data. Educators would be invited to provide policy and programming data. This initiative will allow youth and educators to use a free smartphone application in different seasons in Saskatchewan to engage with researchers from the University of Regina and Saskatchewan.
  • Addressing Access Differences in Healthcare Between Status Indians and Other Canadians - This initiative is to inform policy solutions through the quasi-experimental evaluation of natural policy experiments as part of the bifurcated health care system in Canada. The goal is to address inequities in access to extended health benefits to a legally defined sub-group of Indigenous Canadians registered by the federal government as “status Indians.” This study is based on a pilot conducted by the principal applicants (Greg Marchildon and Tarun Katapally) in Saskatchewan that revealed difficulties in access to diagnostic and treatment services for obstructive sleep apnea among status Indians. This difficulty in access, which manifests in longer wait times, is an example of a health inequity that exacerbates lower health status and poorer health outcomes in Indigenous populations across Canada and other settler nations.
  • Assess, Redress, Re-assess: Addressing disparities in respiratory health among First Nations Youth - This is a complex multi-year community-based participatory research initiative involving two On-Reserves First Nations communities in central Saskatchewan. Implemented in four phases (baseline assessment, policy interventions [redress], community interventions [address] and evaluation), this population health intervention study targets four key determinant-outcome dyads identified by the communities.
  • Seasonality and Acitive Saskatoon Kids - Seasonality and Active Saskatoon Kids is an active living initiative that investigates children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour patterns longitudinally. This study utilizes GPS-equipped accelerometers to determine how children interact with urban spaces in all seasons to identify indicators of active living. This knowledge will inform urban planning policy in Saskatoon to help develop active urban communities.

Knowledge Translation

  • Innovation and technology transfer: Smartphone app for active living. Role: Innovator. Target Stakeholders: General public and health care personnel. Outcome/Deliverable: A smartphone application that aids in increasing physical activity and decreasing sedentary behaviour. Evidence of Impact: Selected for the 2014 University of Saskatchewan Tech Venture Challenge.
  • Patient-oriented obstructive sleep apnea care policy intervention in Aboriginal Peoples. Role: Researcher (IPHRC). Target Stakeholders: Policy makers, health care personnel and patients. Outcome/Deliverables: A three-tiered knowledge translation strategy (patients, physicians and policy makers) to introduce practice and policy change with respect to inequities in access to health services for obstructive sleep apnea care in Aboriginal Peoples. Evidence of Impact: Identified areas of improvement in sleep apnea care provision.
  • Integrated knowledge translation through community-based participatory research. Role: Researcher (IPHRC). Target Stakeholders: Elders and community leaders. Outcome/Deliverables: A community-based participatory intervention, where at every phase of the intervention, the communities participate in knowledge generation and dissemination. Evidence of Impact: Adaptation of ongoing interventions based on integration of Indigenous Knowledge.
  • 2016 India Report Card on the Physical Activity of Children and Youth. Role: Report card leader. Target Stakeholders: Policymakers, parents, educators, researchers, public health administrators, and the general public. Outcome/Deliverables: Synthesis and translation of current evidence on the policies and contexts that influence physical activity in children in India. Evidence of Impact: Already enabled cross-country comparison between low, middle and high-income countries. Predicted impact in the near future would be to inform policies and raise awareness of the dearth of evidence in middle income countries.

Presentations

International

  • Katapally TR, Goenka S, Bhawra J, Mani S, Ghattu KV, Kehoe SH, Lamkang AS, Raj M, McNutt K. Results from the India 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth. The International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand. Nov 2016.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Capturing the Interrelationship between Objectively Measured Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in Children in the Context of Diverse Environmental Exposures. International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity Annual Conference, Cape Town, South Africa. June 2016.
  • Katapally TR, Laxer R, Qian Wei, Letherdale S. Equity in active living among youth: Understanding the influence of school policies and programs on screen time. Annual CAHSPR Conference, Toronto, Canada. May 2016.
  • Katapally TR.  Social policy in active living promotion: Are we widening the gap? 5th Annual Canadian CAPPA Conference, Quebec City, Canada. May 2016.
  • Katapally TR, Rainham D, Muhajarine N. A methodology to leverage cross-sectional accelerometry to capture weather’s influence in active living research. Pediatric Works Physiology 29, Utrecht, Netherlands. Sep 2015.
  • Katapally TR, Beck C, Marchildon GP, Episkenew J, Abonyi S, Pahwa P, Fenton M, Dosman J. Provision of Sleep Apnea Care in Saskatchewan: Policy Complexities Related to Registered Indian Status. Indigenous Health Conference, Toronto, Canada. Nov 2014.
  • Katapally TR, Opikokew C, Episkenew J, Karunanayake C, Abonyi S, Dosman J, Pahwa P. The Complexity of the Obesity Pandemic: Can Indigenous Approaches Help? The International Network of Indigenous Health Knowledge and Development, Winnipeg, Canada. Oct 2014.
  • Katapally TR, Episkenew J, Karunanayake C, Abonyi S, Dosman J, Pahwa P. Working towards a community-based participatory intervention in First Nations: generating evidence to break the chain of association between lack of physical activity, overweight or obese weight status and risk of obstructive sleep apnea. 7th International Symposium: Safety & Health in Agricultural & Rural Populations: Global Perspectives, Saskatoon, Canada. Oct 2014.
  • Katapally TR, Episkenew J, Marchildon G, Karunanayake C, Abonyi S, Dosman J, Pahwa P. Integrated knowledge translation to de‐adopt ineffective policies and practices. 7th International Symposium: Safety & Health in Agricultural & Rural Populations: Global Perspectives, Saskatoon, Canada. Oct 2014.
  • Katapally TR, Esliger D, Sherar L, Muhajarine N. From evidence to evaluation: combining WHO physical activity guidelines with Canadian active living research to develop age-specific activity profiles for children. Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children, Ottawa, Canada. May 2014.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Searching for pathways to advance inter-disciplinary population health research: Integrating mobile-health initiatives with child-centric active living research. Global Summit on the Physical Activity of Children, Ottawa, Canada. May 2014.

National

  • Katapally TR, Ridalls T, Muhajarine N. Seasonality and active Saskatoon kids: understanding active living in an urban environment. Canadian Institute for Transportation Engineers Conference, Regina, Canada. June 2014.
  • Katapally TR, Rainham D, Muhajarine N. Leveraging cross-sectional accelerometry to emphasize weather’s role in active living policy. Public Health 2015, Vancouver, Canada. May 2015.
  • Katapally TR, Rainham D, Muhajarine N. Factoring-In Weather Variation to Capture the Influence of Diverse Environmental Exposures on the Accumulation of Globally Recommended Levels of Physical Activity in Children. 4th Canadian Obesity Summit, Toronto, Canada, April 2015.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Working towards Uniform Accelerometer Data Analysis: Development of Standardization Methodology to Minimize Measurement Bias due to Systematic Accelerometer Wear-time Variation. Biennial Conference of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, St. John’s, Canada. June 2013.
  • Katapally TR, Froehlich Chow A, Humbert L, Leis A, Muhajarine N. Validation of Standardization Methodology to Minimize Measurement Bias due to Systematic Accelerometer Wear-time Variation in Preschoolers, Adolescents and Adults. National Student Conference of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, St. John’s, Canada. June 2013.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Accelerometry in Population Health research: Are we making substantiated observations within populations, and valid comparisons between populations? Canadian Public Health Association Annual Conference, Ottawa, Canada. June 2013.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Obesity Traffic Stop: A Population Health Intervention Tool Combining Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines. 3rd Canadian Obesity Summit, Vancouver, Canada. May 2013.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. How Does Accelerometer Wear Time Influence School Day and Weekend Day Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour in Children Aged 10-14 Years? 4th Conference on Recent Advances in the Prevention and Management of Childhood & Adolescent Obesity, Halifax, Canada. Oct 2012.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Sedentary Behaviour in Children Aged 10-14 Years during School Days and Weekend Days in a Built Environment Context: A Multilevel Analysis. The 3rd Canadian Obesity Student Meeting, Edmonton, Canada. June 2012.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. How Do Variations in Neighbourhood Built Environment Influence Patterns of Preadolescent children’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour? Annual Conference of Canadian Association of Geographers, Waterloo, Canada. May 2012.
  • Katapally TR, Muhajarine N. Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour among Preadolescents. National Student Conference of the Canadian Society for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Montreal, Canada. June 2011.

Current Courses

  • JSGS 823: Health Promotion
  • JSGS 824: Health Program Planning and Evaluation
  • CHEP 498: Place and Population Health
  • Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada Refresher Course

Students

Maryna Moskalenko
Program: Master of Public Policy
Thesis/Project Title: Policy recommendations regarding provincial-level acceptance of online therapy in Saskatchewan
 
Tara Todd
Program: Master of Public Policy
Thesis/Project Title: Non-urgent emergency department use in Saskatchewan: characteristics that contribute to low acuity emergency department use and policy options to replace emergency departments as non-urgent primary care centres