School of Nursing
Faculty of Health Sciences Queen's University

Dr. Elizabeth G VanDenKerkhof

RN BScN (Ottawa) MSc (Queen's) DrPH (Johns Hopkins)


External Phone: 613-533-6000 x74743
Internal Phone: 74743
Office Location: Room 125, Cataraqui Building



The common theme in my approach to teaching across disciplines and classroom settings is the integration of research design & analysis, and theory & practice.

When teaching in the Advanced Research Design and Analysis course in the graduate program, I use an integrated approach to enhance the linkage between design and analysis. The course material is based on a conceptual framework which takes students through the process of selecting, analyzing and interpreting appropriate statistical tests relative to specific research questions and research designs. Rather than using a formula-based approach I incorporate the use of SPSS into both the lectures and laboratories. I focus the discussion on research questions related to each students proposed thesis topic. I believe the provision of a conceptual and substantive framework assists in the understanding of statistical methods which are traditionally difficult for many students to grasp.

In the undergraduate program I teach Principles and Applications of Nursing Research. I incorporate many examples of research being conducted at Queen's and the Kingston Hospitals. Each lecture includes a 20 minute presentation by a guest lecturer from the Queen's/KGH research community. I believe this approach not only helps bring research theory to life, it engages students' thinking about the source of their knowledge and the resultant patient care they provide.  It also generates discussion around concepts such as, randomization, bias, and knowledge translation. 

I supervise nursing, medicine and epidemiology students, as well as anesthesiology residents. Research projects primarily focus on the epidemiology of pain and the adoption of technology at the point of care.


My research program has a substantive and a methodological focus. The substantive area is patient outcomes with a focus on acute and chronic pain and women's health. I conduct studies at the population and individual level. At the individual level, I study the development of chronic post surgical pain and associated healthcare utilization in women. At the population level, I use large national databases (National Population Health Survey data & Canadian Community Health Survey) to examine predictors of chronic pain in Canadians. My methodological focus is the development and adoption of innovative technology at the point-of-care. I am part of an interprofessional research team that developed an electronic documentation tool for use on an Acute Pain Management Service. I have extended these applications for use in my studies, where patients complete questionnaires on tablet computers or online in their home before and after surgery. In addition, I am the research lead on a health informatics team in our acute care hospitals. We study issues around the implementation and adoption of electronic documentation and innovative communication devices (Vocera) at the point-of-care. Our findings have influenced clinical, administrative and research decisions. The goal of my research program is to provide comprehensive and timely information to improve decision-making at the practice, administrative and policy level.


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