Maria Ospina

I am a generalist clinical epidemiologist interested in research methods applied to health outcomes research (e.g., analysis of large administrative health databases), evidence-based medicine (e.g., systematic reviews, meta-epidemiological approaches to research synthesis), knowledge translation, and implementation science (e.g., mixed methods).

My research has focused on the areas of emergency medicine, respiratory health, Indigenous health and, most recently, maternal and perinatal health. My current program of research is mainly focused on the following areas:

  • Integration of a life-course epidemiological approach to evaluate prenatal and perinatal precursors of chronic diseases. 

  • Pathways of inequalities in maternal and perinatal health.
  • Meta-epidemiological evaluations of maternal and perinatal research evidence to inform decision-


PhD, University of Alberta, 2013
MSc, University of Alberta, 2004
BSc (Psychology), Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, 1993


Instructor of the Year (Distance Class), School of Public Health Students’ Association, University of Alberta, 2016

Selected Publications

Ospina MB, Mrklas K, Deuchar L, Rowe BH, Leigh R, Bhutani M, Stickland M. A systematic review of the effectiveness of discharge care bundles for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Thorax 2017;72:31-90. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2016-208820. (Editor’s choice).

Ospina MB, Rowe BH, Voaklander D, Sentilselvan A, Stickland MK, King M. Emergency department visits after diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Aboriginal People in Alberta, Canada CJEM 2016 Nov;18(6):420-8.

Ospina MB, Voaklander D, Senthilselvan A, Stickland MK, King M, Harris AW, Rowe BH. Incidence and prevalence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among Aboriginal Peoples in Alberta, Canada. PLoS One 2015;10(4):e0123204.

Ospina MB, Dennett L, Jonsson E. Prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: a systematic review. Edmonton (AB): Institute of Health Economics; 2013.

Ospina M, Moga C, Dennett L, Harstall C. A systematic review of the effectiveness of prevention approaches for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. In: Clarren SK, Salmon A, Jonsson E (Eds): Prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder FASD: who is responsible?. Chapter 3. Weinheim (Germany): Wiley-VCH Verlag & Co. KGaA; 2011.

Current Projects

Emergency department use during pregnancy and postpartum in Alberta 
Principal Investigator

Developing Maternal-Perinatal Translational Epidemiology Research (DMTER) program
Principal investigator
funded by the Women and Children’s Health Research Institute

Trajectories of respiratory morbidity
 and health services utilization in the
 first 5 years of life among neonates experiencing adverse birth outcomes

Development, implementation and evaluation of the impact of a Choosing Wisely® list of tests and interventions for emergency departments in Alberta
Co-Principal investigator
funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions

Developing and assessing the effectiveness of a post-discharge care pathway to reduce emergency department re-visits and hospital re- Admission rates for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Co-Principal investigator
funded by Alberta Innovates Health Solutions