New ARCH Lab Research

Led by Alle Butler, a reading course student supervised by Dr. Ferro, the main findings from the REACH study were published in an article entitled, “Mental disorder in children with physical conditions: a pilot study” in BMJ Open. Of the 50 children enrolled in the study, the prevalence of multimorbidity was 58% at baseline and 42% at 6 months. No sociodemographic characteristics were associated with multimorbidity. Multimorbidity at baseline was associated with declines over 6 months in the following quality of life domains: physical well-being, psychological well-being, and school environment. There was no association with parental psychosocial outcomes over time. Based on the strong response rate and minimal attrition, our approach to study child multimorbidity appears feasible and suggests that multimorbidity is an important concern for families. Methodological and substantive findings from this pilot study have been used to implement a larger, more definitive study of child multimorbidity, which should lead to important clinical implications.

This study, the first of its kind, was highlighted in the University of Waterloo News, as well as being picked up by a number of news wires.