Karen Benzies, BScN, MN, PhD

PhD in Nursing Faculty of Nursing University of Alberta
Master of Nursing Faculty of Nursing University of Alberta
Bachelor of Science in Nursing School of Nursing University of Victoria

Karen Benzies

Areas of Research

Parent-Child Relationships
My program of research in early parent-child relationships includes families with healthy children, families of children with social and medical risks, and families of children with a disability. With my graduate students, I design and evaluate interventions to support mothers and fathers to develop parent-child relationships that are conducive to optimal child development. For example, we conducted two randomized controlled trials to evaluate a video-self modeling intervention for fathers of term and late preterm infants. In both trials, the intervention improved the quality of father-infant interactions.
Early Childhood Development
In my program of research, I evaluate the longitudinal effects of early interventions on child development. With a former PhD student and now assistant professor, we are conducting a 15-year-old follow-up study of children who attended a two-generation preschool program.
Family Integrated Care
With several graduate students, we are conducting a cluster randomized controlled trial in Alberta to evaluate the effect of Family Integrated Care in Level II neonatal intensive care units. FICare in a model of care that integrates families into the care of their premature infant as soon as possible following birth. Using relational communication, parenting education, and family support, we hypothesize that hospitals who implemented FICare will have infants with shorter hospital stays, and families with less psychosocial distress. Additionally we expect improved staff satisfaction and reduced costs.
Welcome to Parenthood
Welcome to Parenthood is a series of studies that evaluates interventions to support families in the transition from pregnancy to early parenthood. We use neuroscience-based parenting education and mentorship, along with various engagement tools to engage mothers and fathers with existing community resources and supports. Engagement tools include the baby kit, which is a large cardboard box with mattress that can be used as a safe infant sleeping surface, that includes essential items required for a new bay and mother. These essential items include diapers, board book, thermometer, nursing pads, and sleep sac that are provided through partnerships the community including Calgary Reads, Shoppers Drug Mart, Instabox, and KatzKids.

Supervising degrees

Nursing Doctoral: Accepting Inquiries
Nursing Masters: Accepting Inquiries
Nursing Masters: Accepting Inquiries

Working with this supervisor

I will accept masters and PhD students who are motivated and committed to research child and family health.

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