Denise Harrison profile picture

Contact Information

Denise Harrison, RN, PhD
613-737-7600 ext: 4140

Denise Harrison

Affiliate Investigator, Methodological & Implementation Research
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Chair, Nursing Care of Children, Youth & Families
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
Full Professor, School of Nursing
University of Ottawa
CHEO Research Institute
Honorary Research Fellow
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)
Honorary Senior Fellow
The University of Melbourne

Research Interests

  • Efficacy, effectiveness, safety and utilization of sucrose in diverse neonatal, infant and child populations
  • Pain prevalence in diverse clinical settings
  • Pain management in NICUs and community settings during immunization
  • Knowledge translation
  • Ethics of conducting clinical trials in vulnerable patient populations

Brief Biography

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 80 papers and delivered over 250 presentations focusing on pain management in infants and children. Dr. Harrison’s program of research focuses on effectiveness and knowledge translation of pain management strategies in children, from sick newborn infants up to school-aged children.

Selected Publications

  1. Stevens B, Yamada J, Campbell-Yeo M, Gibbins S, Harrison D, Dionne K, Taddio A, McNair C, Willan A, Ballantyne M,  Widger K, Sidani S, Estabrooks C, Synnes A, Squires J, Victor C, Riahi S. (2018). The minimally effective dose of sucrose for procedural pain relief in neonates: A randomized control trial. BMC Pediatrics. 2018; 18(85).  
  2. Harrison D, Larocque C, Reszel J, Harrold J, Aubertin C. Be Sweet to Babies during Painful Procedures: A pilot evaluation of a parent-targeted video. Advances in Neonatal Care. 2017; 17(5): 372-380. doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000425.  
  3. Harrison D, Reszel J, Dagg B, Aubertin C, Bueno M, Dunn S, Fuller A, Harrold J, Larocque C, Nicholls S, Sampson M. Pain management during newborn screening – Using YouTube to disseminate effective pain management strategies. Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing. 2017; 31(2): 172-177. doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000255  
  4. Harrison D, Larocque C, Bueno M, Stokes Y, Turner L, Hutton B, Stevens B. Sweet Solutions to Reduce Procedural Pain in Neonates: A Meta-Analysis. Pediatrics. 2017; 139(1): pii: e20160955. doi: 10.1542/peds.2016-0955
  5. 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. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016; 10: CD011248. 
  6. 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.
  7. 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; 5(1): 19-21.
  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. 2015; 5:CD008408.
  9. 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.
  10. 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

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest

Research and clinical approaches