Dr. Hugh Anton

Dr. Hugh Anton - headshot


B.Sc. (University of Calgary), M.D. (University of Calgary)
Clinical Professor, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
Clinical Research Coordinator, GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre

Research Interests

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Dr. Anton is not accepting summer students for 2016.

Dr. Anton’s main research focus is on fatigue in both neurological and neuromuscular disorders. He has worked widely on the measurement of fatigue in SCI patients, including validating a widely-used fatigue scale. This scale allows the accurate measurement of fatigue, which supports both research and improved treatment. Dr. Anton also works with medical residents in physical medicine and rehabilitation as a research coordinator, assisting with the research portion of their training.

Dr. Anton is a Clinical Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of British Columbia. He is also the Clinical Research Coordinator for the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre and an Investigator at ICORD. Dr. Anton completed both a B.Sc. and an M.D. at the University of Calgary.

Eliminating or overcoming fatigue means a direct improvement in the lives of people with SCI. Even simple things, like reducing the number of medications a patient takes, can greatly increase the patient’s level of energy. In many cases that increase is enough to allow patients once again to do the important things in their lives.

Dr. Anton loves working at ICORD because it truly applies “from bench to bedside and beyond.” The researchers at ICORD look into every level of recovery from models to rehabilitation, and even into the community.

Fatigue became one of Dr. Anton’s research interests after observing the progress of a particular paraplegic patient. After her rehabilitation, she was able to function at a high level despite her SCI and had returned to her world and her job. However, six months later she reported being limited by fatigue: she was so tired by just living that it was very difficult to rejoin all her activities. Because of this experience, Dr. Anton recognized that dealing with fatigue can be just as important to patient recovery as usual physical rehabilitation.

Recent Collaborations:

Dr. Anton is a member of F2N2, otherwise known as Fatigue and Function of Neuromuscular and Neurological conditions. This team of investigators, which includes Drs. Bill Miller, Andrea Townson, Sue Forwell, Noah Silverberg (Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia), and Catherine Backman (Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia), is attempting to address the debilitating effects of fatigue by developing improved measures and strategies to cope with this secondary health condition.

He is also currently working with Dr. Andrea Townson on a study using a nutritional supplement for fatigue in patients with SCI.

Major Findings:

Dr. Anton has formally evaluated the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). He worked with subjects living in their communities, and found that the scale has statistically acceptable reliability and validity.

Dr. Anton has done other work with people with SCI who are living in the community. He found that fatigue is common in these patients and is often associated with pain. In another study he showed that medication is associated with higher levels of fatigue which is an important consideration for clinicians when assessing patients and prescribing new medications. He has also looked at the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, which has been adapted for use with SCI.

Techniques employed in the lab:

  • History data collection
  • Patient interviews
  • Statistical data analysis
  • Therapeutic injections

Affiliation with organizations and societies:

  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada


Some of Dr. Anton’s recent major awards and accomplishments include:

  • Master Teaching Award (UBC Department of Medicine, 2009)

Current Opportunities in the Lab

There are currently no openings in Dr. Anton’s lab. Please contact Dr. Anton with inquiries.

Recent publications

  • Anton, HA et al.. 2017. The course of fatigue after acute spinal cord injury.. Spinal Cord. doi: 10.1038/sc.2016.102.
  • Smith, EM et al.. 2016. The relationship between fatigue and participation in spinal cord injury.. Spinal Cord. doi: 10.1038/sc.2015.149.
  • Grant, C, Goldsmith, CH, Anton, HA. 2014. Inpatient stroke rehabilitation lengths of stay in Canada derived from the National Rehabilitation Reporting System, 2008 and 2009.. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.08.014.
  • Imam, B, Anton, HA, Miller, WC. 2012. Measurement properties of a telephone version of the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale among individuals with a traumatic spinal cord injury.. Spinal Cord. doi: 10.1038/sc.2012.79.
  • Lee, AK, Miller, WC, Townson, AF, Anton, HA, F2N2 Research Group. 2010. Medication use is associated with fatigue in a sample of community-living individuals who have a spinal cord injury: a chart review.. Spinal Cord. doi: 10.1038/sc.2009.145.
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