Patrick J. McGrath


Contact via Dalhousie University


Key Research Areas
Associated Researchers
Associated Organizations

Recent Research Projects

CHILD-BRIGHT: Child Health Initiatives Limiting Disability- Brain Research Improving Growth and Health Trajectories

2015/16-2020/21 • $12,760,751 • PI,Other
The CHILD-BRIGHT network will achieve brighter futures for children with brain-based developmental disabilities (BDD) and their families by creating novel interventions to optimize development, promote healthy outcomes, and deliver responsive and supportive services across the life-course. Our...

TRajectories Of healthy life using Public Health and primary care Interventions in Canada: The TROPHIC Trial

2017/18-2020/21 • $6,804,917 • PI,CO,Other
The "Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD)" hypothesis suggests that a healthy growth and development in pregnancy and early childhood is critical for optimal health and lifetime wellbeing. Yet, Canada's children are falling behind. Nearly 1 in 3 Canadian children are overweight or...

Accessible and Cost Effective Psychosocial Health Interventions for Canadians

2016/17-2020/21 • $2,590,702 • PI,Other
Dr. Patrick McGrath is an internationally known scientist for his work in two areas: 1. developing, evaluating and scaling up technologically aided interventions that teach skills to patients and families and 2. measurement and psychosocial interventions for pain. Dr. McGrath will build on the...

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Mental Health Problems in Children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders: A Transdiagnostic Approach

2016/17-2020/21 • $786,756 • PI,CO
Mental health problems are a serious set of issues for youth with neurodevelopmental disorders, a term that refers to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These...

A clinical decision support tool for diagnostic imaging use for low back pain

2017/18-2020/21 • $715,173 • PI,CO
Objective: To develop a tool to help doctors make appropriate decisions about the need for diagnostic imaging for patients with low back pain. Rationale: Low back pain is one of the most common and disabling health problems in Canada and the world. In most cases, low back pain resolves without...

Univenture: A Partnership to Address Heavy Drinking and Other Substance Misuse on Canadian University Campuses

2018/19 • $500,000 • CO
Canadian university undergrads have alarmingly high rates of risky patterns of alcohol, cannabis, and prescription drug use. This substance misuse has harmful short- and long-term effects that negatively impact students, their friends and families, and their communities. Harms can include...

Firefighters accessing care for trauma: A clinical case series testing the efficacy of distance-delivered narrative exposure therapy in reducing PTSD symptoms

2018/19 • $149,623 • PI,CO
Firefighting is one of the most dangerous and stressful occupations, with repeated exposure to trauma putting firefighters at elevated risk for developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related mental health symptoms including depression. Though evidence-based treatments for PTSD...

The univenture collaborative: a partnership to address heavy drinking and other substance misuse on Canadian university campuses

2018/19 • $20,000 • CO
Risky patterns of alcohol use, cannabis use, and prescription drug misuse are alarmingly prevalent among Canadian university undergraduates. Substance use by undergraduates may have harmful consequences, including: undermining psychological well-being, increased risk of depression and anxiety,...

Integrated Maternal Psychosocial Assessment to Care Trial (IMPACT): Intervening Early to Improve Maternal and Child Health

2012/13-2017/18 • $346,231 • PI,CO
WHAT WE KNOW. Mental health problems are more common than all other pregnancy-related complications. Yet, less than 20 percent of healthcare providers assess and treat women for depression and anxiety. As a result only 10 percent of pregnant women in Canada with mental health problems receive...

Canada Research Chair in Child Health

2010/11-2016/17 • $1,250,000 • PI
Many children and youth suffer from mental health disorders or chronic disease. Medical treatments may relieve the symptoms, but psychosocial interventions can improve quality of life, disease management and reduce health system access. Most children and families are denied access to these...

Jointly Managing JIA Online: An Internet-based Psycho-educational Game for Children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and their Parents

2014/15-2016/17 • $415,817 • PI,CO
Arthritis in children is a long-term illness and it can make a child's life very difficult. In children 8-11 years old, the child and their family work together to deal with the problems that arthritis can cause. Children with arthritis may have to deal with pain, stiffness, stress and worry....

Development and preliminary testing of a mobile-optimized pure behavioral activation application with coaching for adolescents with mild-moderate depression

2014/15-2016/17 • $242,569 • PI,CO
Depression is a common mental health problem affecting many adolescents. Evidence-based psychological therapies for depression (Cognitive Behavioral therapy and Interpersonal Therapy) are strongly recommended as first treatment options to facilitate early recovery and prevent the potential side...

Supporting shared decisions in pediatric otolaryngology (Phase 1): Needs assessment and decision aid development

2014/15-2016/17 • $159,816 • PI,CO
Pediatric otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) surgeries are the most common surgeries in children. Many pediatric otolaryngology surgeries could be considered minor, but they are not without risk and benefit is not guaranteed. Thus, surgeons and families must make complex decisions among...

Preparing Parents to be Present During Induction for Pediatric Surgery: Evaluating a Preparation Intervention

2013/14-2016/17 • $120,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Surgery is identified as one of the most painful experiences, for thousands of children in Canada who are admitted to hospital each year. Research suggests that children's anxiety about induction prior to surgery is related to the amount of pain they experience and the amount of analgesics they...

In Through the Out Door: Do Increasing Pediatric Emergency Mental Health Presentations Reflect Poorer Access to Primary and Outpatient Mental Health Care?

2016/17 • $74,857 • PI,CO,Other
Nearly one in five Canadian children and youth experience mental illness. Unfortunately, many do not receive the care they require to treat their mental illness, perhaps because they can't get timely care from a family doctor or from community mental health services. Lack of proper treatment can...

Building a strategy to support parent partnership in patient-oriented research in the Maritimes

2016/17 • $20,204 • PI,CO,Other
Research supporting partnerships between parents and health care professionals to improve outcomes for children and youth is growing. In child health research, parents are important advocates for their children who are often unable to speak for themselves. Parents use the outputs of child health...

Better Nights/Better Days: Improving Psychosocial Health Outcomes in Children with Behavioural Insomnia

2010/11-2015/16 • $1,998,967 • PI,CO
Up to 25% of children suffer from sleep problems that are referred to as 'behavioural insomnia'; that is, they have difficulty settling, falling asleep, and staying asleep. This leads to inappropriate daytime sleepiness and negatively effects behaviour, mood, and school performance. It also has...

Pain at Home in Children following Major Surgery: Physical, Psychological, and Economic Consequences

2010/11-2015/16 • $724,991 • PI,CO
Pain has long-term negative consequences for children. Early experiences with medical pain are related to a host of negative outcomes including heightened pain sensitivity, medical fears, and even avoidance of future health care. Pain in childhood may also lead to declines in learning ability...

A randomized clinical trial of Oral analgesics Utilization for CHildhood musculoskeletal injuries (The OUCH Trial)

2012/13-2015/16 • $584,860 • PI,CO
Pain management of children presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) with a trauma to a limb is poorly treated even though musculoskeletal traumas (e.g. fractures, severe sprains) are considered to generate moderate to severe pain intensity. In spite of the fact that pain is considered one of...

Enhancing the wisdom of young people with migraine to promote self-care: An iPhone and web-based application

2012/13-2015/16 • $309,559 • PI,CO
Migraine is a common problem among young people and is ranked within the 20 most common reasons for disability in the world. The vast majority of young people with migraine deal with their condition alone, without consulting with their doctors. However, their actions to cope with their migraines...

Understanding Discharge Instruction for Children and Caregivers in the Transition from Pediatric Emergency Care

2013/14-2015/16 • $217,902 • PI,CO,Other
Over 87% of children who visit Canadian emergency departments (EDs) are discharged home to their place of residence. Following discharge, many children and their caregivers are unable to list their diagnosis, recount the name and purpose of medications they received, outline the recommended post...

Parents preventing alcohol problems in adolescents (PPAPA): An interactive, personalized, personality-targeted, evidence-based skills program for parents.

2014/15-2015/16 • $63,333 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a debilitating mental health problem that causes significant distress and interferes with daily functioning. Fortunately, research has shown that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a psychological treatment, works to treat OCD. Despite this, many people...

CIHR Training Grant in Pain in Child Health, an innovative, international, trans-disciplinary research training consortium Phase II

2010/11-2014/15 • $1,625,000 • PI,CO
Pain in Child Health (PICH) is an innovative cross disciplinary research training consortium that originally linked research centres in 5 cities across Canada and created a community of scholars in pediatric pain. The consortium has expanded, with funding from Mayday Foundation in New York,to...

Sustainability of a multidimensional knowledge translation intervention to improve paediatric pain practices and outcomes

2011/12-2014/15 • $822,401 • PI,CO
Recent studies show that hospitalized children undergo many painful procedures such as heel lances and finger pricks daily. Although there has been some improvement in pain management over the past two decades, regular pain assessment and management remains sub-optimal. The main issue is that...

Everyday Pains in Young Children

2010/11-2014/15 • $478,899 • PI,CO
Chronic pain is a serious health problem for many children and adolescents. The understanding and management of children's pain still lags considerably behind what is known about adult pain. Much of what is known about the psychological and social factors that influence children's pain comes...

Teens Taking Charge: An Internet-based Self-management Program for Adolescents with Arthritis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

2011/12-2014/15 • $442,140 • PI,CO
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) is a chronic childhood illness that negatively impacts quality of life. While activities to manage JIA are shared by the child and family, adolescents are expected to assume a greater role in disease management. Better management early on could help prevent...

Parent training for challenging behaviour in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD): Strongest Families for FASD

2012/13-2014/15 • $399,858 • PI,CO,Other
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a significant cause of neurobehavioural deficits in children. Parents/guardians, who care for children with FASD, are often confronted with significant behavioural issues without support or detailed advice on how to manage these symptoms. To compound the...

Developing an Internet-based program for anxious youth who visit the emergency department for mental health care: A strategy to increase access to post-crisis care

2011/12-2014/15 • $331,715 • PI,CO
Anxiety is a common mental health problem for Canadian youth. Anxiety that is diagnosed as a disorder and serious enough to require treatment affects up to 10% of all youth by the age of 16. Anxiety disorders can have serious negative effects on a young person's personal relationships, school...

Developing a web-based program to assist parents in helping the anxious child: A public health approach for prevention and early intervention

2011/12-2014/15 • $319,252 • PI,CO
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in children with a prevalence of about 8%. Anxiety disorders are accompanied by difficulties in peer relationships, school performance and family functioning, and often persist into adulthood. Interventions for anxiety in children have been shown...

Does a school-based mental health curriculum for grade 9-10 youth improve knowledge, reduce stigma and enhance help seeking behaviors?

2011/12-2014/15 • $105,000 • PI,Other
In Canada, approximately ten to twenty per cent of children and adolescents suffer from some form of mental disorder. However, only one in five adolescents requiring specialty care receives it. Many youth do not receive needed care because of their insufficient knowledge for early...

Treating anxiety and depression in adolescence with internet-based interventions: A knowledge synthesis using realist review methodology to explore how internet-based treatments work and for whom they are effective

2014/15 • $100,000 • PI,CO,Other
Global burden of anxiety and depressive disorders in youth is severe, with roughly 1 in 3 adolescents meeting the criteria for an anxiety disorder and 1 in 7 for a depressive disorder in their lifetime. Early intervention is key to reducing tangible long-term impacts. Important new treatments...

Improving Lives of Children and Youth with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities

2014/15 • $50,000 • PI,Other
Neurodisabilities such as Down Syndrome and epilepsy profoundly affect the lives of as many as one in six Canadian children and their families. In addition to their main diagnosis, many children with a neurodisability also have other chronic conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity...

Nova Scotia SPOR Network in Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations

2013/14 • $75,000 • PI,CO
This grant application proposes to bring together the initial members of the Nova Scotia Strategy for Patient Oriented Research Network for Primary and Integrated Health Care Innovations (NS-PIHCI). If funded, NS-PIHCI will provide Nova Scotia the opportunity for research, policy, clinical...

Supporting the Mental Health of Refugee Adolescents and Parents

2013/14 • $25,000 • PI,CO
Refugee adolescents and parents are vulnerable to mental health problems including depression, postpartum depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Support deficits, loneliness, and isolation are major concerns. However, gaps in culturally relevant and supportive health services persist....

Delivering treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder at a distance: A randomized trial

2010/11-2012/13 • $867,698 • PI,CO
Approximately 14% of Canadian children aged 4 to 17 years (more than 800,000) have mental health problems. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), which is characterized by a pattern of hostile, irritable, uncooperative behaviour, a failure to follow rules, and a pattern of conflict with parents...

Pain in Infants at risk for Neurological Impairment: A Program of Research: Phase 3

2010/11-2012/13 • $479,072 • PI,CO
Although considerable research has been performed to determine the most effective strategies for managing pain in newborn infants, infants who are born the most premature have been infrequently studied. These infants are usually the smallest and sickest, have the largest number of painful...

Sustainable Telephone-Based Peer Support for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

2010/11-2012/13 • $340,995 • PI,CO,Other
Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most frequent illness experienced by new mothers. Nearly 1 in 7 mothers experience PPD, characterized by symptoms such as low mood, loss of energy, agitation, insomnia or tiredness, excessive guilt, confusion, and thoughts of self harm. Nearly 50% of women with...

Development and initial testing of a Smartphone-based psychological treatment for adolescents and young adults with headache.

2010/11-2012/13 • $307,889 • PI,CO
Headache is a common problem amongst young people that interferes with their daily lives causing significant disability. While there are effective psychological treatments for headaches; the vast majority of young people with headaches do not receive these therapies due to: difficulty accessing...

Evaluation of Newborn Family Literacy Programs in the Maritime Provinces

2010/11-2012/13 • $249,996 • PI,CO,Other
The proposed project aims to evaluate the impact of family literacy programs delivered to families of newborns at birth in hospitals in the three Maritime provinces - NS, NB and PEI. Each Maritime province has had newborn family literacy programs implemented within the past decade. These...

The role of mindfulness in the fear-avoidance model of chronic pain in children and adolescents.

2010/11-2012/13 • $105,000 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in Canada. Evidence suggests that physical fitness is the best predictor of mortality for CHD patients. Despite increased focus on interventions to promote physical activity (PA) in this population, CHD patients remain less physically...

Monitoring Alberta's Pediatric Psychiatric visits to the Emergency Department (MAPPED)

2011/12-2012/13 • $99,897 • PI,CO,Other
Emergency Departments (EDs) are a critical mental health care service point for children and youth. EDs provide stabilization in an acute emergency and act as a portal to follow-up care. It may be that EDs are becoming more and more utilized for mental health care because of problems with access...

Translating Research on Pain in Children (TROPIC) Study

2010/11-2011/12 • $623,280 • PI,CO
Pain is one of the most common, debilitating and perplexing symptoms reported by Canadians. Surveys of hospitalized children indicate that at least 50% reported moderate to severe pain in the previous 24 hours, only 20% had a pain assessment and 50% received analgesia. Although well managed pain...

Improving the Mental Health of Canadian Children and Adolescents: A Research Synthesis

2011/12 • $100,000 • PI,CO,Other
We propose a set of knowledge synthesis (KS) activities to support the creation of an e-chapter devoted to the mental health of Canadian children and adolecents for inclusion in the innovative, web-based 4th Edition of The Health of Canada's Children: A CICH Profile. Synthesis preparation (under...

The Changing Face of Children's Pain Management: Using Genomics to Inform Safe and Effective Prescription Practices.

2011/12 • $100,000 • PI,CO
In Canada, countless children experience injuries and pain every day. This pain is often diffucult for the child (and their family) to deal with. Children with pain are commonly told to take painkillers at home. These painkillers are variable in how well they work. They can also cause pretty bad...

Strongest Families: developing a not-for-profit corporation

2011/12 • $99,262 • PI,CO
Strongest Families is an effective intervention for child mental health problems. The program was developed and evaluated, with CIHR support (CIHR # 43273), to increase access to evidence based mental health care for families who need assistance. The novel contribution of Strongest Families is...

Perceived effectiveness of peer support for youth living with chronic pain.

2010/11-2011/12 • $75,833 • Scholarship/Fellowship,Other
Youth with chronic pain suffer from a disease process that is not well understood, has an uncertain illness trajectory, and is not usually accompanied by obvious physical signs. Hence many adolescents face disbelief from friends, family, and health professionals. Most feel isolated as they do...

CIHR Team in Access to Children's Mental Health Services

2010/11 • $532,685 • PI,CO
Children with mental health problems frequently do not receive timely specialist care. It is not unusual for families to wait 6 months to a year for assessment and intervention. The consequences of the lack of timely service include deterioration of child and family functioning, discouragement...

CIHR Team in Children's Pain

2010/11 • $448,855 • PI,CO
Although the need for evidence-based pain management has been acknowledged by international organizations, quality care initiatives, and as a focus of the patient safety initiatives, and despite exponential growth in pediatric pain research by leading Canadian researchers and the development of...

Identification of physical and psychosocial predictors of chronic pain in children and adolescents: A first step towards prevention

2010/11 • $99,983 • PI,CO,Other
Chronic pain is relatively common among children and adolescents; we still do not know what causes chronic pain. Biopsychosocial predictors are involved in the onset and course of this chronic condition over time. We want to systematically explore the knowledge available about the physical and...

Replication Research: Developing a Framework for Knowledge Translation Research

2010/11 • $99,352 • PI,CO,Other
Up until now, there has been little discussion of the importance of replication in knowledge translation (KT) that could further contribute to the quality of research results essential for the improvement of health care services provided to Canadians. The purpose of this knowledge synthesis is...

Support for Fathers Affected by Postpartum Depression

2010/11 • $43,132 • PI,CO
The objective of this multi-site study is to: (1) describe the experiences, support needs, resources, barriers and preferences for support of fathers whose partners have had postpartum depression and,(2) develop a support intervention for fathers affected by postpartum depression and their...

Patents