ARCH Lab Receives Funding to Study Mental Health of Youth with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA)

Dr. Ferro and his team are pleased to announce the receipt of of the Addressing Mental Health in Paediatric Rheumatic Diseases Team Grant from Brain Canada, together with Cassie + Friends. This funding opportunity will advance efforts to better prevent, diagnose, and treat mental illnesses in children and young adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Rheumatic conditions affect approximately 24,000 children and youth across Canada, impacting their daily lives and overall well-being.

The ARCH Lab will embark on this exciting two-year study, Juvenile Arthritis and Mental Health (JAMH), recruiting caregivers and children (10-16 years) diagnosed with JIA will from outpatient clinics at McMaster and Alberta Children’s Hospital. The purpose of the study is to:

  1. Study how the mental health of children with JIA changes and identify which children experience the largest changes over time
  2. Describe what mental health means to caregivers and children with JIA, and how do they know when their mental health changes
  3. Testing if the Emotional Behavioural Scales (EBS), first used and validated in the Ontario Child Health Study can be used to accurately measure mental health in childhood JIA

Ultimately, findings can be used for early identification and treatment of mental health in children with JIA. Understanding the impact of having JIA on mental health will allow us to develop individualized mental health services and supports. If the EBS is found to be accurate, it will provide clinicians with a measure which can be used to assess changes to mental health and routinely be incorporated into national and international registries.

For more information about the award, please click here and more more information about the project, please click here.