Dr. Mark Ferro receives Brain Canada research grant

Friday, April 12, 2024
Mark Ferro

Dr. Mark Ferro has received the Addressing Mental Health in Paediatric Rheumatic Diseases Team Grants award, a research funding initiative offered by Brain Canada and Cassie + Friends, a charity dedicated to the pediatric rheumatic disease community.

Ferro’s study aims to understand the mental health of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) by tracking changes over time, exploring both children’s and their caregivers’ perspectives. It also aims to test the accuracy of the Emotional Behavioural Scales (EBS) in measuring mental health in childhood JIA. Findings could improve early identification and treatment of mental health conditions in children with JIA.

“This work represents a step forward in generating high-quality evidence to inform the integration of physical and mental health care for children with JIA,” Ferro said. The EBS instrument is central to this: If it proves accurate in identifying children with poor mental health, the EBS can be easily incorporated into routine follow-up for children with JIA to ensure timely and appropriate mental health care for those who need it.”

The award was presented to two researchers in the field: Ferro and Dr. Roberta Berard from the London Health Science Centre, for their efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat mental illness in children and young adults with rheumatic diseases, which affect approximately 24,000 across Canada. The funding will support both teams with grants of $240,000 each over two years.