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About Sickkids
About SickKids

David Nicholas, PhD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Academic & Clinical Specialist
Social Work

Research Institute
Adjunct Scientist
Child Health Evaluative Sciences

Phone: 416-813-6746
Email: david.nicholas@sickkids.ca

Research Interests

  • psychosocial health
  • technology utilization for social support
  • online applications for health knowledge & wellness promotion
  • quality of life
  • system utilization for children with complex health conditions

Research Activities

My research program focuses on psychosocial adaptation to childhood illness. Specific substantive areas include the use of advanced technology for the delivery of social support. Intervention studies have evaluated outcomes and processes for children and families, as well as differences resulting from technological variation.

Another research stream addresses service system use for children with complex health needs requiring long-term care and technology. A focus has been the use of unregulated helpers for support and care assistance. These studies have followed earlier research examining the quality of life among families affected by complex health conditions. Mixed method designs have been implemented, as well as advanced qualitative research applications, including innovations of meta-study for paediatric health.


Nicholas DB. Participant perceptions of online groupwork with fathers of children with spina bifida. In Social Work with Groups: Social Justice Through Personal, Community and Societal Change (N. Sullivan, E.S. Mesbur, N.C. Lang, D. Goodman, & L. Mitchell, Eds.), 227-240. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, Inc, 2003.

Otley AT, Griffiths AM, Sherman PM, Smith C, Avolio J, Munk M, Nicholas D. The IMPACT questionnaire: a valid measure of health related quality of life in pediatric inflammatory bowel disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr;35:557-563, 2002.

Nicholas DB, Keilty K. Establishing a peer support program for parents of children with chronic lung disease requiring technology assistance: Perceptions of parents. Research Update, Ontario Lung Association, Ontario Respiratory Care Society Research Update, 18, Supplement, 4-6, 2002.

Griffiths AM, Nicholas DB, Smith C, Munk M, Stephens D, Durno C, Sherman PM. Development of a Quality of Life index for pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Dealing with differences related to age and IBD type. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 28, S1-7, 1999.

Nicholas DB. Meanings of maternal caregiving: Children with End Stage Renal Disease. Qualitative Health Research, 9, 468-478, 1999.

Nicholas DB. Factors contributing to caregiver meaning: The case of mothers of children on dialysis. Journal of Nephrology Social Work, 19, 22-32, 1999.