Karen Campbell

Children's Health & Therapeutics Dr. Karen Campbell


Scientist, Division of Children’s Health and Therapeutics, Children’s Health Research Institute
Professor, Departments of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Paediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Chair, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University

How does your research help children?

I study the health of mothers during their pregnancy, with particular interest in how maternal lifestyle, social circumstances and pre-existing biological conditions influence their health and the health of their baby.  
My work has the potential to identify early influences on children’s long-term health.  The ultimate goal is to identify strategies for optimizing the health of mothers, fetuses and newborns, thus improving child health longer term.


Current Research Activities

For the past decade, I have been studying a “cohort” of 2357 women and their children. The women joined my research study between 2001 and 2004 while pregnant and we have studied the health of these mothers and their babies over the subsequent years. We have gathered prenatal and postpartum data on mothers’ diet, mothers’ anxiety and depression, health and health systems use.  We have studied their children’s health and health systems use up to the age of 4 years.  We intend to continue to study this cohort so that we may understand longer-term health implications of prenatal and postnatal health. 

Research Team

Dr. Campbell’s research team consists of a Research Associate (George Kouniakis, who holds a Masters degree in Economics), five graduate students (Catherine Moon, Hilary Brown, Danielle Nash, Salwa Akiki, Erin MacDonald) and a varying number of part time research assistants.   Collaborative linkages also exist with a number of other scientists at CHRI (Drs. W. Avison, J. Gilliland, V. Han, K. Speechley) and elsewhere.

Future Research Plans

Increasingly, the focus of myself, and my students, has been on quantifying the benefits of healthy lifestyles.  As well, our research group is increasingly interested in maternal and child obesity.  As we move forward over the next few years, we intend to keep studying our cohort as individuals, but also look at the physical and social environment in which they live to understand how this influences lifestyle choices, health and mental health. 

Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

Funding in support of Maternal and infant health, health services needs and utilization following term and preterm birth: outcomes in a cohort assembled antenatally - Awarded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR),

Funding in support of “Fetal Growth Restriction: Mechanisms and Outcomes” - Awarded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), RFA on Healthy Pregnancy

Funding in support of Heterogeneity of Postpartum Depression: Continuation of a Prospective Study of Nature, Prevalence, Course and Etiology - Awarded by Ontario Mental Health Foundation (OMHF),

Funding in support of Econometric Analyses of Adult Obesity in Canada: Modifiable Risk Factors and Policy Implications - Awarded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR),

Recent Publications


Do depressive symptoms affect mothers’ reports of child outcomes in children with new-onset epilepsy?
Ferro MA, Avison WR, Campbell MK, Speechley KN
Qual Life Res. 2010

Maternal depression and anxiety were not found to influence infants’ health services utilization in a southwest Ontario cohort”
Anderson L, daSilva O, Freeman T, Xie B, Campbell MK (supervisor)
Canadian Family Physician. 2008; 54:1718-1719.e5

Attitudes and health behaviours of young adolescent omnivores and vegetarians: A school-based study
Greene-Finestone L, Campbell MK (supervisor), Gutmanis I, Evers S, and DeWitt D
Appetite. 2008; 51(1):104-110

Depressive symptoms during pregnancy in relation to fish consumption and intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
Sontrop J, Speechley KN, Avison W, Evers S, Campbell MK (supervisor)
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. 2008; 22(4):389-99

Prediction of Preterm Birth in Symptomatic Women Using Decision Tree Modeling for Biomarkers
Hill J, Campbell MK (supervisor), Zou GY, Challis, JRG. Bocking AD
Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2008; 198(4):468.e1-7; discussion 468.e7-9

Fish Consumption among Canadian Pregnant Women: Associations with Sociodemographic and Health and Lifestyle Factors
Sontrop JM, Campbell MK (supervisor), Evers SE, Speechley KN, Avison WR
Can J Pub Health. 2007; 98(5):389-394

Development and psychometric properties of a questionnaire assessing children's knowledge and attitudes about epilepsy
Martiniuk A, Speechley KN, Secco M, Campbell MK
Epilepsy and Behavior. 2007; 10(4):595-603

Evaluation of an epilepsy education program for grade five students: a cluster randomized trial
Martinuk A, Speechley KN, Campbell MK, Secco M, Donner A
Epilepsy and Behavior. 2007; 10(4):604-10

Factors Influencing Full Breastfeeding in a Southwestern Ontario Community: Assessments at 1 Week and at 6 Months Postpartum
Clifford TJ, Campbell MK (supervisor), Speechley KN, Gorodzinsky F
J Hum Lact. 2006; 22:292-304

Re-utilization outcomes and costs of minor acute illness treated at family physician offices, walk-in clinics, and emergency departments
Campbell MK, Wulf-Silver R, Hoch J, Østbye T, Stewart M, Barnsley J, Huchison B, Matthews M, Tyrrell C
Can Fam Phys. 2005 Jan; 51:83

Additional publications 



Phone: (519) 661-2111, x86267
Fax: (519) 661-3766
Email: mcampbel [at] uwo [dot] ca
Website: http://www.uwo.ca/epidem/people/Faculty/BaseComplement/MK_Campbell.html

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