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Meet The Lab

Lab Director

Dr. Meghan McMurtry

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C. Meghan McMurtry is an Associate Professor in Psychology at the University of Guelph, director of the Pediatric Pain, Health, and Communication Lab, and a Clinical and Health Psychologist with the Pediatric Chronic Pain Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital. Dr. McMurtry’s research and clinical interests focus on acute and chronic pain, medical procedure-related fear, as well as communication and family influences in these contexts. Dr. McMurtry was the Co-Principal Investigator and an Evidence Lead on the national Help Eliminate Pain in Kids and Adults Team which created two clinical practice guidelines regarding vaccination pain and needle fear management; aspects from the pain management guideline were endorsed for vaccinations worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO). Recently, Dr. McMurtry was the sole psychologist on the small subcommittee for the WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety tasked with creating guidance on immunization stress-related responses. She also served as the sole psychologist on the 25 person Guideline Development Group representing 17 countries for the WHO’s Guideline for the Management of Chronic Pain in Children

Graduate Students

Delane Linkiewich

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Delane Linkiewich is a master’s student in the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Program at the University of Guelph. Her primary research interests focus on the social context of youth living with chronic pain, namely peer support and peer relationships. Outside of the peer-context, Delane is also interested in the family context in how parents and families support youth living with pain as well as patient engagement in research. Delane is actively involved in the pain community as she co-chairs the Patient Engagement Committee of the Chronic Pain Network and sits on the Steering Committee for the Alberta Pain Research Network. Delane has also been living with pain for the past 13 years and is a passionate advocate for people living with pain. Delane’s research has been funded by CIHR and OGS. 

Olivia Dobson

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Olivia Dobson is currently a first year master’s student in the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology Program. Olivia completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Acadia University and has a particular interest in clinical work with children with developmental disabilities and their families. This clinical interest transcends into Olivia’s research work where she is interested in the prevention and management of needle pain and fear in children with developmental disabilities. Olivia’s master’s thesis focuses on how existing tools and resources for needle fear and pain management can better suit the needs of children on the Autism Spectrum and their families. Olivia’s research has been funded by NSERC and she received the 2021-22 Autism Scholars Award for the master’s level.  

Natisha Nabbijohn

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Natisha Nabbijohn is currently a MA student the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology program at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Meghan McMurtry. Supported by two consecutive MA-level OGS awards, her Master’s thesis consists of scoping review on the measurement and conceptualization of coping responses in the pediatric chronic pain literature. She has also been active as research student in the Pediatric Chronic Pain Program at the McMaster Children’s Hospital and involved as a student trainee in the Pain in Child Health program. Prior to her current graduate work, Natisha completed an undergraduate and Master’s degree in psychology at the University of Toronto where she examined the role of biological, psychological and social factors on the well-being of gender minority youth. Natisha is interested in applying the biopsychosocial model in her current research to improve the quality of life and healthcare experience of youth living with chronic pain. 

Hiba Nauman

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Hiba Nauman is a PhD student in the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology program at the University of Guelph. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology at the University of Waterloo in 2018. Hiba’s research interests lie at the intersection of health and psychology and she is passionate about improving needle procedures, such as vaccinations and venipunctures, for children and their parents. For her master’s thesis, Hiba examined potential protective factors of needle fear as well as factors beyond pain that drive needle fear in children and adults. For her PhD dissertation, Hiba hopes to build upon her master’s research and evaluate an evidence-informed children’s e-book intervention for needle fear with the goal of improving vaccine uptake. 

Hiba Nauman’s Selected Presentations:

Nauman, H., Genik, L.M., & McMurtry, C.M. (accepted). Child in pain? How did you decide? Respite workers’ responses to a vignette presenting a child with a developmental disability. Poster to be presented at the Canadian Pain Society Annual Scientific Meeting, Calgary, AB, Canada, May 2020. *Conference cancelled due to COVID-19. 

Kaytlin Constantin

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Kaytlin Constantin is currently a 4th year PhD Candidate in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. Kaytlin’s graduate program of research aims to understand the physiological, cognitive-affective, and contextual factors that shape the way parents respond to their child’s acute pain, which she has studied in both laboratory and hospital settings. Additionally, Kaytlin is involved in other projects within the PPHC lab related to the assessment and treatment of needle fear, including co-developing and facilitating a virtual needle fear group for children and their caregivers. Kaytlin is grateful to have received funding from SSHRC, OGS, and Vanier CGS (CIHR) throughout her graduate studies. 

Kaytlin Constantin’s Selected Presentations:

Constantin, K., & McMurtry, C.M. (2019, June). Heart rate variability and emotion regulation in adults. In D. Mazmanian (Moderator), Electrophysiology in the study of emotions: Introduction to heart rate variability and facial electromyography. Symposium presented at the 80th Annual Canadian Psychological Association National Convention, Halifax, Canada, May 2019.   

Constantin, K., Moline, R. & McMurtry, C. M. (2019, June). Preliminary Findings Between Parent Physiological Activity, Parent Reassurance, and Nonprocedure-Related Talk During Children’s Acute Pain. Poster presented at the 12th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain, Basel, Switzerland.  

Constantin, K., Moline, R. & McMurtry, C. M. (2019, June). Children’s Previous Pain Experience Relates to Parent Physiological, not Self-Reported, Responses to their Child’s Completion of the Cold Pressor Task. Poster presented at the 12th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain, Basel, Switzerland. 

Rachel Moline

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Rachel Moline is a 4th-year doctoral student in the Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology program at the University of Guelph. Her research, supervised by Dr. C. Meghan McMurtry, aims to help children during painful experiences, like needles, both directly and through interventions that empower parents to provide support. Supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship, her research reflects a biopsychosocial approach, seeking to harness the power of protective factors, including mindfulness. Research interests include parent nonverbal communication and cultivating parents’ ability to attune to their child and co-regulate their emotions during painful experiences. Her dissertation research is exploring a mindfulness intervention to help children and parents during child venipuncture procedures. She will be beginning her pre-doctoral residency in pediatric and child clinical psychology at Alberta Children’s Hospital in fall 2021.

Rachel Moline’s Selected Presentations:

Moline, R., Constantin, K., & McMurtry, C. M. (2019, April). Parent emotional presence during child pain: Examining parent emotion regulation and mindfulness during their child’s cold pressor task. Invited talk presented at the Canadian Pain Society 40th Annual Scientific Meeting, Toronto, Canada, April 2019.  

Moline, R., Constantin, K.,. & McMurtry, C.M. (2019, June). A multi-method examination into the connections between parent and child emotions during child acute pain. Poster presentation at the 12th International Symposium on Pediatric Pain, Basel, Switzerland, June 2019. 

Moline, R., Constantin K., Gauthier, M., & McMurtry, C. M. (2017, October). Nonverbal characteristics of parental reassurance and distraction: a pilot study of the scheme for understanding parent responses during child painful procedures. Poster presentation at the 11th  International Forum on Pediatric Pain, Nova Scotia, Canada. 

Soeun Lee

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Soeun Lee is a 4th year Ph.D. Candidate in the PPHC Lab. Broadly, Soeun’s areas of research include better understanding how to promote and support resilience and functioning among youth with chronic pain and their parents. She has worked with the Pediatric Chronic Pain Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital since 2016, where she completed her Master’s thesis examining youth and parent resilience factors associated with quality of life. Currently, Soeun’s dissertation involves evaluating a cognitive-behavioral group intervention for parents of youth with chronic pain. She believes in the importance of knowledge translation, lived experiences, and advocacy as core components of making research and pediatric pain interventions accessible and equitable. Her research has been supported by Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). In her spare time, Soeun enjoys cooking new recipes, travelling, painting, yoga, rock climbing, and visiting her home in Calgary as often as she can. 

Soeun Lee’s Selected Presentations:

Lee, S., McMurtry, C.M., Tomlinson, R.M., Lumley, M., Bax, K., & Ashok, D. (2020, March). Looking on the Bright Side: The Role of Positive Schemas in Quality of Life in Youth with Abdominal Pain. In L. Cohen (Chair), Optimizing Treatment for Adolescents with Chronic Pain: A Multilevel and International Perspective. Symposium presentation for the Society of Pediatric Psychology Annual Conference (virtual). 

Lee, S., Edwards, K., McMurtry, C.M. (2019, May). A Group Intervention for Caregivers of Youth with Chronic Pain: Feasibility, Acceptability, and Effectiveness. In J.A. Grummisch (Chair), Psychologists in Hospitals and Health Centres. Symposium presentation for the 80th Canadian Psychological Association Convention in Halifax, NS, Canada. *awarded best presentation. 

Lee, S. (2018, October). Parent Factors in Pediatric Chronic Pain. Workshop presented at the 3rd Annual Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Pediatric Chronic Pain Network Education in Toronto, ON, Canada. 

Honours Thesis Students

Kathryn Lupo- Flewelling

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Kathryn Lupo- Flewelling is a fourth-year psychology undergraduate at the University of Guelph. Within the PPHC lab, she is actively working on her honours thesis project under the supervision of Kaytlin Constantin and Dr. Meghan McMurtry. Her project examines resting, reactivity, and recovery heart rate variability to understand children’s pain and fear experience during needle procedures. The honours thesis experience in the PPHC lab has provided Kathryn with foundational research skills that are invaluable for a future in clinical psychology. She plans to attend graduate school to study clinical psychology with a focus on children.

Michael Stead

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Michael Stead is a 4th year Psychology major and Philosophy minor with a specialization in Feminist Philosophy. He is currently completing his undergraduate honours thesis within the PPHC Lab under the supervision of Dr. Meghan McMurtry, and graduate student Rachel Moline. For his thesis project, he is interested in exploring the predictive relationship between parental adult attachment and pediatric venipuncture outcomes of children and parents. His time within the PPHC Lab has been an inspiring and invaluable learning opportunity. The lessons he has learned within the lab will undoubtedly aid him throughout his academic career and beyond. 

Nicole Walker

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Nicole Walker is a fourth-year psychology honours thesis student in the PPHC Lab. Currently, she is conducting her undergraduate thesis, which examines the perceived benefits of a cognitive-behavioural group intervention for parents of youth with chronic pain. As part of a much larger qualitative research project, her work primarily utilizes thematic analysis. She works directly with Ph.D. Candidate, Soeun Lee as well as with Dr. Meghan McMurtry, as they supervise her thesis work within the lab. She will be presenting her research poster at the Canadian Pain Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting, held April 28-30, 2021. Her poster abstract will also be published in the Society’s Journal, The Canadian Journal of Pain

Undergraduate Interns

Grace Wong

Noah Wright

Laryssa Laurignano

Sonali Khera

Graduate Student Alumni

Lara Genik

Rachel Tomlinson