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Denise Harrison photo of dr denise harrison
Scientist, CHEO Research Institute
Chair in Nursing Care of Children, Youth and Families, CHEO
Assistant Professor, University of Ottawa, School of Nursing
Affiliate Investigator, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Clinical Epidemiology
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 50 papers and delivered over 175 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. NPCHN Cochrane Review Summary: Sweet tasting solutions for reduction of needle-related procedural pain in children aged one to 16 years. Neonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing. 2016; 19(1):24-25.
Crellin D, Harrison D, Santamaria N, Babl FE. Systematic Review of the FLACC scale for assessing pain in infants and children: is it reliable, valid and feasible for use? PAIN. 2015; 156(11): 2132-2151.
Harrison D, Reszel J, Wilding J, Abdulla K, Bueno M, Campbell-Yeo M, Harrold J, Nicholls S, Squires J, Stevens B. Neuroprotective Core Measure 5: Minimizing Stress and Pain - Neonatal pain management practices during heel lance and venipuncture in Ontario, Canada. Newborn and Infant Nursing Reviews. 2015; 15:116-123. 
Harrison D, Reszel J, Barrowman N, Martelli B, Sharp D, Vaillancourt R. Be Sweet to Toddlers during needles: Pilot RCT of sucrose compared to placebo. Nursing Reports. 2015; 15(1):19-21. doi: 10.4081/nursrep.2015.5218. 
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. 2015; Issue 5. Art No,: CD008408 doi: 10.1002/14651858. CD008408.pub3.
Desrosiers A, Harrison D, Letham A. Use of facial expression for pain assessment in infants during acute painful procedures. Pediatric Pain Letter. 2015; 17(1): 5-8
Harrison D, Bueno M, Reszel J. Prevention and management of pain and stress in the neonate. Research and Reports in Neonatalogy. 2015;5:9-16.
Harrison D, Reszel J, Bueno M, Sampson M, Shah VS, Taddio A, Larocque C, Turner L. Breastfeeding for procedural pain in infants beyond the neonatal period (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014 (August); Issue 8. Art No.: CD011248. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD011248
Harrison D, Sampson M, Reszel J, Abdulla K, Barrowman N, Cumber J, Fuller A, Li C, Nicholls S, Pound CM. Too many crying babies: A systematic review of pain management practices during immunizations on YouTube. BMC Pediatrics. 2014; 14(134). doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-134
Feenstra B, Boland L, Lawson M, Harrison D, Kryworuchko J, Leblanc M, Stacey D. Interventions to Support Children's Engagement in Health-Related Decisions: A Systematic Review. BMC Pediatrics, 2014; 14(109). doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-109 

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. 2014; 17(1):19-26.

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. 2013;49:313-318. doi:10.1111/jpc.12161

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

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