Michelle Fortier, PhD
My overall research program is focused on improving pain management in children in the medical setting. Accordingly, I have developed a research program that involves examining parental management of children’s pain at home, including the relationship of parental misconceptions regarding analgesia for children and practice of administration of pain medication following surgery. In order to better understand the needs of children in the medical setting I have also conducted research aimed at understanding children’s anxiety, pain and desire for information in the perioperative setting. Moreover, given the diverse population of patients we serve at the hospital, I have explored the need to examine cultural influences on children’s pain.
More recently, I have expanded my program of research with a goal of developing evidence-based interventions for pain management of children with cancer. A particular interest in this area is the incorporation of technology into pain and symptom management, in which patients and parents can communicate in real time with their treatment team by way of remote symptom monitoring. In addition, I am working to develop skills training programs to be delivered via handheld electronic devices for children to improve efficacy with regards to home management of pain and symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment. Finally, I am particularly interested in knowledge translation – the gap between evidence and practice – and therefore a focus of my research program is identification of barriers to dissemination of evidence-based practice.
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