Research in CYMHP

KHSC is an academic health sciences centre, and as such participates in a wide-range of research projects in collaboration with our academic partners at Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College and others. All of our research projects have gone through ethics approval.

There are many collaborative research projects underway in the Child and Youth Mental Health Program as highlighted below:

Eye Tracking as a Neurological Biomarker:

The following two research projects use a portable eye tracking device to record the eye movements of healthy teenagers and teenagers at risk of borderline personality disorder (BPD) or eating disorders.

Youth with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Traits:

Previous research has revealed that adults with BPD have a unique eye-movement pattern, compared to adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and healthy controls, as measured using a computer based test. This pattern of unusual eye movements in teenagers showing early signs of BPD is unknown, therefore the objective of this project is investigate cognition and oculomotor control in adolescents with BPD traits. This research is a part of a larger initiative to identify reliable, non-invasive biomarkers to assist in diagnosing severe psychopathological illness in youth

Youth with Eating Disorders:

The objective of this study is to examine the eye movements as a neurological biomarker for youth with eating disorders, that would provide and earlier, more reliable diagnosis. This will be investigated by studying differences between performance on an interleaved pro- and anti-saccade task, and a free-viewing video task that includes eating related stimuli.

Improving Efficiency and Access to Care:

The centralized triage project allows for one gate of entry for all child and adolescent mental health referrals within the SE LHIN, by reducing the frequency of duplicated referrals and re-triage in community mental health clinics and tertiary care child and youth psychiatry. This quality improvement initiative aims to increase the incidence of appropriate, timely care in children presenting with first-episode psychological dysfunction.

Sandbox Youth Mental Health Initiative - Phase II:

SYMHI Phase II focuses on the evaluation of an electronic personal health record for youth being assessed and treated for common mental health diagnoses. Together with our participating sites (Maltby Centre, Kingston Family Health Team, and the Child & Youth Mental Health Program), healthcare professionals and researchers, the objective of this project is to assess the feasibility of a novel mobile-application and web-based portal suitable for use in clinical care provision, that seeks to increase patient engagement, enhance communication and reduce barriers affiliated with face-to-face care.

Psychotropic Prescription Trends:

This study examines psychotropic prescription trends in psychiatric inpatient children and adolescents in Kingston, Ontario and surrounding areas from years 2002 – 2017. We aim to understand if these medication trends match evidence-based and clinical practice guidelines.