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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Robyn Stremler, RN, BSc(Hons), MSc(A), PhD

The Hospital for Sick Children
Nursing Research Associate

University of Toronto
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Nursing

Phone: 416-978-6925
Fax: 416-978-8222
Email: robyn.stremler@sickkids.ca
Alternate Email: 416-813-7654 ext 4489

Brief Biography

Dr. Stremler received her BSc(Hons) in Biology and Psychology from Queen’s University, her MSc(A) in Nursing from McGill University, and her PhD from University of Toronto. She held fellowships from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) for doctoral and postdoctoral work and spent two years as Clinician Scientist in the Centre for Nursing and Research Institute at SickKids. Dr. Stremler is currently a CIHR New Investigator.

Dr. Stremler’s primary appointment is to the Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto where she enjoys conducting research and teaching in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Dr. Stremler’s program of research focuses on sleep disturbance and fatigue in new families, sleep for hospitalized children and their parents, and testing nursing interventions through randomized, controlled trials.

As Research Associate in the Centre for Nursing at SickKids, Dr. Stremler contributes to the advancement of Nursing Research initiatives through consultation on projects and participation in activities such as the Nursing Research Retreat, Nursing Lunch’n’Learns, and Nursing Internal Scientific Reviews. She particularly enjoys mentoring nurses as they develop their research skills through programs such as the SickKids Nursing Research Fellowship and the RNAO Advanced Clinical Practice Fellowship.

Clinical Care Activities

Dr. Stremler’s past clinical care activities include staff nurse positions in various maternal and newborn care settings in Montreal and Toronto and the Multidisciplinary Sleep Disorders Clinic at SickKids.

Research Interests

  • Sleep disturbance, fatigue, pain, anxiety, depression, symptom management.
  • Randomized controlled trials to evaluate psychosocial, behavioural, and educational interventions.
  • Melatonin for sleep disturbance.
  • Shiftwork and sleep for nurses.
  • Actigraphy for measurement of sleep.
  • Populations of interest include families with infants, children, or adolescents, and hospitalized individuals and their families.

Research Activities

  • RCT of a behavioural-educational intervention to improve maternal and newborn sleep in the early postpartum.
  • Evaluation of factors affecting sleep for parents whose child is hospitalized.
  • North American telephone survey of policies and practices related to parents staying overnight with their hospitalized child.
  • Co-investigator on several multisite RCTs.

Future Research Interests

Dr. Stremler’s future research will focus on expanding her maternal and infant sleep intervention to other populations and developing interventions to improve sleep for children who are hospitalized and their parents.

External Funding

A trial of a skills-based intervention to reduce maternal anxiety and improve developmental outcomes in very low birthweight infants
P. Zelkowitz, N. Feeley A. Papageorgiou, F. Lefebvre, R. Westreich, D. Dunkley, I. Shrier, Z. Rosberger, R. Steele, R. Stremler

Team Grant in Child Pain: Translating Research on Pain in Children (TROPIC)
B. Stevens S. Lee, C. Estabrooks, R. Stremler and others (20 investigators)

Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) Mentoring Program
R. Stremler, Mentee; E. Hodnett, K. Lee, Co-Mentors

Systematic Early Labour Assessment and care by Nurses (SELAN)
E. Hodnett W. Fraser, A. Willan, R. Stremler, A. Gafni

Labour Position Trial
E. Hodnett, R. Stremler, P. Petryshen, B. Stevens, A. Willan

Maternal hands and knees positioning during labour
R. Stremler, E. Hodnett, B. Stevens, M. Hannah
American Nurses Foundation/ Sigma Theta Tau International

Maternal hands and knees positioning during labour
R. Stremler E. Hodnett, B. Stevens, M. Hannah
Registered Nurses Foundation of Ontario

Health Professional Fellowship
R. Stremler

The TIPS (Tips for Infant and Parent Sleep) Trial
R. Stremler, E. Hodnett, K. Lee, J. MacFarlane, S. Weiss, A. Willan

Sleep and Fatigue in Children on ALL Maintenance Therapy and their Parents
S. Zupanec, H. Jones, R. Stremler

Identifying factors involved in the prenatal diagnosis of Congenital Heart
N. Dutil, E. Jaeggi, P. Pereira-Solomos, R. Stremler
Labatt Family Heart Centre, SickKids

Sleep disturbance in hospitalized children
R. Stremler, S. Adams, C. Parshuram, S. Weiss
Sleep Research Society Foundation

Health care professionals’ views on providing care to families at night
R. Stremler
Rosenstadt Research Fund, University of Toronto

A RCT Pilot Project to Evaluate the Efficacy of Melatonin in Children with
Intractable Epilepsy S. Weiss, R. Stremler, J. MacFarlane, S.
Bjelajac-Mejia, M. Zak
SickKids Foundation


Outstanding Research Abstract, Annual Amelia Island Pediatric Sleep Medicine Conference, 2006.

Award for Excellence in Teaching, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 2004.

Award of Merit for Outstanding PhD Thesis, Sigma Theta Tau, Lambda Pi Chapter, 2004.

Best Clinical Research Poster Presentation, Canadian Pain Society, 2003.

Rising Star –Academic, Distinguished Alumni Award, Lawrence S. Bloomberg
Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 2008

Dorothy M. Pringle Award for Excellence in Nursing Research, Lambda
Pi-at-Large Chapter, Sigma Theta Tau International, 2008

Grace E. Simpson Reeves Award for Excellence in Nursing Research, The
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), 2008


R. Stremler, E. Hodnett, P. Petryshen, B. Stevens, J. Weston, A. Willan. (2005). Maternal hands and knees positioning during labour: a randomized, controlled trial. Birth, 32(4), 243-251.

R. Stremler. (2003). The newest team member? Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, 25(9), 722. 

E.D. Hodnett, N.K. Lowe, M.E. Hannah, A.R. Willan, B. Stevens, J.A. Weston, A. Ohlsson, A. Gafni, H.A. Muir, T.L. Myhr, R. Stremler. (2002, September 18). The effectiveness of nurses as providers of labor support. JAMA, 288 (11): 1373-1381. 

C.C. Johnston, R. Stremler, L.J. Horton, A. Friedman. (1999). Effectiveness of single versus triple dose of oral sucrose on pain response in preterm neonates. Biology of the Neonate, 75(3): 160-166. 

C.C. Johnston, B. Stevens, L. Franck, A. Jack, R. Stremler, R. Platt. (1999). Factors explaining lack of response to tissue damage in preterm neonates. JOGNN, 28(6): 587-594. 

B. Stevens, C. Johnston, A. Taddio, A.Jack, J. Narciso, R. Stremler, G. Koren, J. Aranda. (1999). Safety and efficacy of lidocaine-prilocaine (EMLA) cream in the management of pain from heel lance in preterm infants. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 20(4): 216-212. 

C.C. Johnston, A. Sherrard, B. Stevens, L. Franck, R. Stremler, A. Jack. (1999). Do cry features reflect pain intensity in preterm neonates?: a preliminary study. Biology of the Neonate, 76(2): 120-124. 

C.C. Johnston, R. Stremler, B.J. Stevens, L.J. Horton. (1997). Effectiveness of oral sucrose and simulated rocking on pain response in preterm neonates. Pain, 72: 193-199.

E. Hodnett, R. Stremler, A. Willan, J. Weston, N. Lowe, K. Simpson, W. Fraser, A.Gafni. (2008). Effect on birth outcomes of a formalised approach to care in hospital labour assessment units: international, randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 337, a1021.

R. Stremler, L. Wong, C. Parshuram. (2008). Practices and Provisions for Parents Sleeping Overnight with a Hospitalized Child.
Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33(3), 292-297.

R. Stremler, E. Hodnett, K. Lee, S. MacMillan, C. Mill, L. Ongcangco, A. Willan. (2006). A behavioral-educational intervention to
promote maternal and infant sleep: a pilot randomized, controlled trial. Sleep, 29(12), 1609-1615.