Research Stream 2: Childhood disability, impairment and pain

Study #1: Exploring the complex interplay between childhood disability, impairment, and chronic pain: Co-producing knowledge with children

Disabled children experience higher rates of chronic pain compared to their non-disabled peers. However, there has been limited research that has explored chronic In this arts-based study, we are learning how disabled children (aged 6-13 years) represent and narrate their experiences and understandings of chronic pain, impairment, and disability. Participants will create their very own body-map* to help share their stories of living with chronic pain, impairment, and disability. Knowledge produced through this research will help families, researchers and clinicians unravel the tangled and complicated relationships among chronic pain, impairment and disability. 

* Body-map storytelling is an arts-based research method where participants fill in an outline of their body with drawings, words, or other details that help tell their story in a visual and creative way. Body-maps can be created independently or with support from someone else

Status: We are currently recruiting for this study! Click here for study details

Research Team

Dr. Gail Teachman, Principle Investigator, Western University

Dr. Katie Mah, Co-Investigator, Western University

Dr. Barbara Gibson, Co-Investigator, University of Toronto

Dr. Fiona Webster, Co-Investigator, Western University

Linda Zhang, MSc Student, Graduate Research Fellow, Western University

Agnes Mathew, PhD Student, Graduate Research Fellow, Western University

Funding Sources

Western Strategic Support (WSS) for CIHR Success, Seed Research Grant

VOICE Innovation Grant, Newton Foundation, McGill University

Study #2: Exploring the intersection of childhood disability, chronic pain, and impairment in health sciences and rehabilitation literature: a scoping review

Scoping reviews are a way to report on what is known in a focused area of study. We are conducting a scoping review, led by Linda Zhang as part of her Master’s research, to identify what is known about chronic pain in the context of childhood disability. The results of this review will help identify specific areas where more research is needed as well as areas where the knowledge available has not been informed by the perspectives of young people living with impairment, disability and chronic pain

Status: This review study is underway.

Research Team

Linda Zhang, MSc Student, Lead and Graduate Research Fellow, Western University

Dr. Gail Teachman, Supervisor and Principle Investigator, Western University

Dr. Katie Mah, Co-Investigator, Western University

Dr. Katie Birnie, Advisor and Co-Investigator, University of Calgary

Dr. Fiona Webster, Advisor and Co-Investigator, Western University

Agnes Mathew, PhD Student, Graduate Research Fellow, Western University

Study #3: Stakeholder reflections on the results of a scoping review focused on childhood disability, chronic pain, and impairment in health sciences and rehabilitation literature.

Building on study #2 – a scoping review – we plan to conduct a formal consultation to consider whether and how the scoping review results resonate and align with key stakeholders (disabled youth, families, caregivers, service providers, researchers, disability advocates, policy decision-makers, etc. ). This stakeholder consultation will invite further perspectives on chronic pain and childhood disability, identify stakeholder research priorities, and help build knowledge in this area of research and practice.

Status: This review study is underway.

Research Team

Linda Zhang, MSc Student, Lead and Graduate Research Fellow, Western University

Dr. Gail Teachman, Supervisor and Principle Investigator, Western University

Dr. Katie Mah, Co-Investigator, Western University

Dr. Katie Birnie, Advisor and Co-Investigator, University of Calgary

Dr. Fiona Webster, Advisor and Co-Investigator, Western University

Agnes Mathew, PhD Student, Graduate Research Fellow, Western University

Outputs

2023 Sept

Teachman G, Mah K. Childhood disability, impairment, and chronic pain: Critical intersections. CASPR (Critical Approaches to Scholarship in Pain Research) Webinar Series: Pain and critical disability studies. [minute 34.20]

2023 May

Mah K. Illustrating the abstract: Drawing as method in critical qualitative health research and applications to chronic pain scholarship. Critical Approaches to Scholarship in Pain Research Webinar Series [minute 38:48]