Rebecca Pillai Riddell, Ph.D., C.Psych
Room 2006 Sherman HSRC
Phone: 416-736-2100 x 20177
Dr. Pillai Riddell's interest in the caregiver-child relationship began as an undergraduate student at York and has continued through her graduate research training career at UBC and Hospital for Sick Children. She currently directs two primary lines of research and participates in the leadership of other programs with colleagues from across the country.
First, she is currently studying the influence of parental and infant factors on early childhood pain reactivity and regulation over the first year of life through her work with the OUCH Cohort. To our knowledge, this is the largest cohort of its kind in the world. This research has been supported by funding from a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) New Investigator Award, a number of CIHR Operating grants, a Ministry of Research and Innovation early researcher grant, and an infrastructure grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation/Ontario Research Fund. This research has followed a cohort of 760 infants from three different regions in the Greater Toronto Area at their 2, 4, 6 and/or 12 month immunizations. A small sub-sample of these infants (N=130), were also followed between 12-18 months of age. In the most ambitious wave yet, these cohort children are now being followed-up at their preschool immunization (4-5 years of age), and with a broad assessment of cognitive, psycho-social, and academic functioning. The goal of this final wave is to link the regulation of pain to mental health outcomes.
Grounded in insights about early child development learned from the OUCH Cohort over the past decade, Dr. Pillai Riddell is actively pursuing both basic and applied programs of research. Funded by NSERC, her basic program of research is examining the dynamics of behavioural and physiological distress regulation (mother and child) in both painful and nonpainful contexts during the second year of life. For her applied program of research, Dr. Pillai Riddell has assembled an impressive multidisciplinary team of knowledge users and scientists (Drs. Cindy-Lee Dennis [nursing], Jodi Martin [psychology], Malini Dave [pediatrics], Dan Flanders [pediatrics] and Eitan Weinberg [pediatrics]) to better use the vaccination context to help health professionals support the mental health of infants and their mothers. In partnership with the Black Creek Community Health Centre (http://www.bcchc.com) and the Kindercare Pediatrics (http://kindercarepediatrics.ca), the OUCH Lab plans to validate an important conceptual model regarding the interrelationships of maternal mental health, maternal post-vaccination soothing behaviours and child development outcomes. We are grateful to the Canadian Psychological Association, Children and Youth
in Challenging Context Network, TD Community Outreach Grant for their awards to support our pilot work.
Dr. Pillai Riddell talks about her research with an interviewer from University of Toronto (November 2015)
In addition, The OUCH Lab is one of the primary lab affiliates of the multimillion dollar national multidisciplinary CIHR Pain in Child Health Strategic Training Program (Nominated PI: Dr. Bonnie Stevens; Co-PIs: Drs. Christine Chambers, Ken Craig, Allen Finley, Ruth Grunau, Celeste Johnston,
Rebecca Pillai Riddell, Jennifer Stinson, and Carl von Baeyer). As one of the leaders in this group, Pillai Riddell strives to provide high calibre training to pediatric pain trainees around the world and is excited to bring to life a new idea in stakeholder engagement- PICH2GO. PICH2GO are 2 day conferences brought to hospitals across the country (and soon internationally) that translates pain knowledge to and brings together patient, family, clinician and researcher group in fun and engaging activities. In 2016, we are bringing PICH2GO to Alberta Children's Hospital (Calgary) and the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto).
Finally, to further support knowledge translation efforts our lab also leads a Cochrane review on non-pharmacological pain management to help support clinician uptake of research findings
(http://www.cochrane.org/CD006275/SYMPT_drug-free-management-young-childrens-pain-during-medical-procedures). In addition, it has been our great pleasure for our lab to be an evidence lead for Dr. Anna Taddio's HelpinKids and Adults Team and create the 2nd edition of Clinical Practice Guidelines with recommendations that have received endorsement from the World Health Organization (http://phm.utoronto.ca/helpinkids/publications.html).