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Denise Harrison
Scientist, CHEO Research Institute
Chair in Nursing Care of Children, Youth and Families, CHEO
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa, School of Nursing
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; Honorary Research Fellow
The University of Melbourne; Honorary Senior Fellow
613-737-7600 Ext. 4140
Research Practice Areas:
Current Research:
Dr. Harrison’s program of research, called “Be Sweet to Babies”, focuses on pain management in neonates, infants and children. Her studies include efficacy, effectiveness, safety and utilization of sucrose in diverse neonatal, infant and child populations; systematic reviews of sucrose for pain management; pain prevalence in diverse clinical settings; pain management in NICUs and community settings during immunization; knowledge translation; and ethics of conducting clinical trials in vulnerable patient populations.
Research Team:

Dr. Harrison’s research began as a single clinical question: “How can we reduce pain during painful procedures in sick babies?” This question arose from working for many years in neonatal intensive care. Dr. Harrison completed a PhD in Melbourne, Australia and a post-doctoral research fellowship in Toronto. She has published more than 30 papers and delivered over 100 presentations focusing on pain management in infants and children. Dr. Harrison’s program of research focuses on effectiveness and use of pain management strategies in children, from sick newborn infants up to school-aged children.

Sample Publications:
Harrison D, Elia S, Manias E, Royle J. Sucrose and lollypops to reduce immunization pain in toddlers and young children: Two pilot randomized controlled trials. Neonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing

Rashotte J, Coburn G, Harrison D, Stevens BJ, Yamada J, Abbott LK and the CIHR Team in Children’s Pain. Healthcare Professionals’ Pain Narratives in Hospitalized Children’s Medical Records. Part 1: Pain Descriptors. Pain Research and Management. 2013; 18(5):e 75-83

Rashotte J, Harrison D, Coburn G, Yamada J, Stevens BJ and the CIHR Team in Children’s Pain. Healthcare Professionals’ Pain Narratives in Hospitalized Children’s Medical Records. Part 2: Structure and Content. Pain Research and Management. 2013; 18(5):e 84-93

Harrison D, Elia S, Royle J, Manias E. Pain management strategies used during early childhood immunisation in Victoria. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Foster J, Spence K, Henderson-Smart D, Harrison D, Gray P. Procedural Pain in Neonates in Australian Hospitals: A survey update of practices. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Cruise S, Tam-Chan D, Harrison D, Johnston L. A prospective clinical audit of chloral hydrate administration practices in a neonatal unit. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Stevens B, Harrison D, Rashotte J, Yamada J, Abbott L, Coburn G, Stinson J, Le May S, CIHR Team in Children's Pain. Pain Assessment and Intensity in Hospitalized Children in Canada. The Journal of Pain. 2012; 13(9): 857-865.

Harrison D, Beggs S, Stevens B. Sucrose for procedural pain management in infants. Pediatrics. 2012; 130(5): 1-8.

Harrison D, Yamada J, Adams-Webber T, Ohlsson A, Beyene J, Stevens B. Sweet-tasting solutions for needle related procedural pain in children aged one to 16 years. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011; Issue 10.

Harrison D, Loughnan P, Manias E, Smith K, Johnston L. Effect of concomitant opioid analgesics and oral sucrose during heel lancing. Early Human Development. 2011; 87: 147-149.

Harrison D, Bueno M, Yamada J, Adams-Webber T, Stevens B. Analgesic effects of sweet tasting solutions in infants: Current state of equipoise. Pediatrics. 2010; 126(5): 894-902.

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