David Nicholas

Dr. David Nicholas



Faculty of Social Work

Full Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Associate Dean (Research)

Faculty of Social Work

Full Member

Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education

Child Health & Wellness Researcher

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute, Owerko Centre

Contact information

Web presence

Phone number

Office: +1 (780) 492-8094


Off-Campus: Edmonton Social Work3-190


Educational Background

B.S.W. Social Work, The University of Calgary, 1985

M.S.W. Social Work, University of Calgary, 1988

Ph.D. Social Work, University of Toronto, 1998


Areas of Research

Determinants of Health
Health Services Research
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Patient and Family Centred Care

Areas of research focus consist of neurodevelopmental disabilities and chronic health issues in childhood and adolescence. Studies include quality of life of children and other family members, incorporation of the social determinants of health, transition and access to services. This program of research incorporates multiple partnerships at the community, provincial, and international level. Multiple methods are used, including qualitative, mixed-methods, and synthesis/systematic review approaches.

Participation in university strategic initiatives


Course number Course title Semester
SOWK 670 SEC 01 S01 Adv Method Epistemology SOWK 2021


  • Sustainability Research Award, University of Calgary. 2021
  • 2018 University of Calgary Teaching Award for Full-Time Academic Staff (Associate Professor), The University of Calgary. 2018
  • 20 for 20 Special Issue for International Journal of Qualitative Methods, International Institute for Qualitative Methodology and Sage. 2018
  • Teaching Award for Fulltime Academic Staff, University of Calgary. 2018
  • Best Article Award for 2016, Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life Care. 2017
  • Peak Scholar Award, University of Calgary. 2016
  • Chair, Allied Health Research Committee, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, 2011
  • Dr. Beverley J. Antle Legacy of Hope Award for Excellence in Social Work, 2008
  • Nominee: Teacher of the Year, University of Toronto - Faculty of Social Work. 2001


  • Autism spectrum disorder and the family: Examining impacts and the need for support.. E. Anagnostou; C. Kilmer; D. B. Nicholas; J. Brian. ADIS/Springer. 77-86. (2015)
  • The experiences of fathers of a child with a chronic health condition: Caregiving experiences and potential support interventions. L. Wenger; K. Daly; T. McNeill; J. Ball; J. Beaton; D. B. Nicholas. UBC Press. Chapter 9. (2012)
  • Our system of health care. T. McNeill; D. B. Nicholas; J. C. Turner; F. J. Turner. Allyn & Bacon Canada. 258-269. (2008)
  • Paediatric patient-centred care at SickKids: : Advancing child and family-centred care.. D. B. Nicholas; K. Keilty; Randi Zlotnik Shaul; K. Karmali; K. Sappleton. Springer. 129-143. (2014)
  • Participant perceptions of online groupwork with fathers of children with spina bifida. N. Sullivan; L. Mitchell; D. Goodman; E. S. Mesbur; D. Nicholas; N. C. Lang. Binghamton, NY. 227-240. (2002)
  • Paediatric patient-centred care: Evidence and evolution.. Karmali; Randi Zlotnik Shaul; K.; Keilty; D. B. Nicholas. Springer. Chapter 2. (2014)
  • Perceptions of online support for hospitalized children and adolescents. K. O'Leary; L. Brister; S. Dumont; D. Berlin; J. Darch; T. McNeill; D. Koller; M. St. Onge. The Haworth Press, Inc. 205-225. (2007)
  • Struggles, strengths and strategies: The lived experience of healthy siblings of children with End Stage Renal Disease. A. Richardson; D. B. Nicholas. Kanata Learning Company Ltd. 236-248. (1998)
  • The potential of technology for providing social support to people and families. V. Coates; D. B. Nicholas; B. Paterson; D. Kralik. Blackwell Science Publishers. 143-161. (2010)
  • Bullying in children and youth with autism spectrum disorders.. L. Zwaigenbaum; J. Eliason; J. Cummings; D. B. Nicholas; W. Craig; D. Pepler. National Printers. 68-79. (2016)
  • An evaluation of dyadic peer support caregiving parents of children with chronic lung disease requiring technology assistance. M. St. Onge; K.; S. Dumont; Keilty; D. B. Nicholas. The Haworth Press, Inc. 245-260. (2007)
  • Integrating clinical practice and classroom learning through heightened hospital/university partnership. D. Flomo; D. Nicholas. IASSW Sweden. 1-1. (2012)
  • Processes of meaningful community/university research partnerships in fostering change: The case study of qualitative study addressing the care needs of persons with mental illness and developmental disability. M. Milen; G. Elliot; D. B. Nicholas; R. Scott; L. Kreitzer; W. Hawkins; G. Zuk; K. Cole; E. Khalema; R. Bodor; J. Shankar; A. M. McLaughlin; A. Calhoun; S. Tanchak. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 22. (2011)
  • Integrating qualitative research on the experience of fathers of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.. L. Lach; D. Nicholas; T. McNeill; M. Saini; A. Bogossian. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 29. (2012)
  • The Emerging Notion of Hope and the Complex Journey for Parents of Children with Cancer. N. D’Agostino; M. Barrera; D. B. Nicholas; J. Shaheed. World Congress on Psycho-Oncology. S205. (2009)
  • A participatory approach to online education and support curriculum development for families of children with a heart transplant. I. Larsen; G. Alton; J. Ellis; S. Anthony; D. B. Nicholas; R. Duff; S. Urschel; K. Simard; N. Devlin; L. Altamirano; T. Olthuizen; L. West; B. Dodd. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 10. (2011)
  • Transportation Research and Policy Review for ASD Individuals Across Canada: A Lifespan Perspective. International Society for Autism Research. 240. (2013)
  • An Examination of Cross-Cultural Patient Care from the Perspective of Families and Health Care Providers: Neonatal Intensive Care as a Case Example. M. Durrant; D. B. Nicholas; J. Hellmann; D. Fierheller; B . Fleming-Carroll; E. Dales. (2008)
  • Pandemic Planning for Paediatric Care. C . Bruce-Barrett; D. B. Nicholas; R . Zlotnik-Shaul; A. Matlow; L. Lach; D. Koller. Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres. 59-60. (2008)
  • Caring for a Child with a Chronic Health Condition: How Mothers and Fathers Construct Their Roles. G. Montgomery; F. Gavin; T. McNeill; R. MacCulloch; D. B. Nicholas; J. Beaton. Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres. 47-48. (2008)
  • Evaluating “Kidney Friends Online”: An Interactive Online Peer Support Group for Adolescents with Chronic Kidney Disease. D. B. Nicholas; A. Mantulak; A. Vigneux; R. MacCulloch; K. McCormick; M. McClure; G. Picone. (2008)
  • Employer perspectives on workers with mental illness and disability. R. Zulla; J. Shankar; L. Liu; E. Khalema; D. Lai; D. B. Nicholas. (2012)
  • The Lived Experiences of Fathers of Children with Autism: Preliminary Findings. W Roberts; D. B. Nicholas; P. McKeever; R. MacCulloch; L. Zwaigenbaum. (2009)
  • The Long-Term Impact of SARS on Children Hospitalized During the Epidemic and Their Families. D. B. Nicholas; Koller; D.. (2009)
  • Symbolism of the heart as a transplanted organ: You realize you have someone else’s heart and it’s kind of weird. L. West; C. Regehr; R. MacCulloch; A. Dipchand; D. Nicholas; S. Anthony. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 62. (2011)
  • Costs of Care and Canadian Policy Implications: A Lifespan Perspective of Cost of Care for Individuals Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.. International Society for Autism Research. 253. (2013)
  • A participatory approach to online education and support curriculum development for parents of a child with a heart transplant. D. B. Nicholas. International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. 59. (2012)
  • Autism comes to the hospital: Experiences of hospital care from the perspectives of children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, their parents and health care providers.. W. Roberts; B. Muskat; L. Zwaigenbaum; D. B. Nicholas; P. Riosa; K. Stoddart. International Society for Autism Research. 238. (2013)
  • Pediatric thoracic transplantation: A transformative process. S. Anthony; L. West; C. Regehr; R. MacCulloch; A. I. Dipchand; M. Solomon; D. Nicholas. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 49. (2011)
  • Development and Evaluation of Inclusive Processes in Paediatric Inter-Professional Practice. C . Bruce-Barrett; D. B. Nicholas; B . Fleming-Carroll; R. M. Laxer; T. McNeill; N. Brownrigg; P. Cox; M. Keatings. (2008)
  • Developing and Evaluating a Website for Surgical Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis Patients. S. Donaldson; D. B. Nicholas; J. G. Wright; R. MacCulloch; D. Lupea; J . Nyhof-Young; R. Hetherington. (2008)
  • Building online support for parents of youth and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder using qualitative methods.. D. Nicholas; C. MacIntosh; L. Ghali; M. Clarke. (2013)
  • Evaluation of Videophone Communication for Hospitalized Children and Their Families. D. B. Nicholas; S. Alexander; L. Brister; D. Koller. International Institute for Qualitative Research. (2009)
  • Parenting a Child with Autism: Shifting Maternal Roles. D. B. Nicholas. (2008)
  • Advancing Inter-Professional Practice in a Paediatric Context: A Framework for Change. N. Brownrigg; B . Fleming-Carroll; D. B. Nicholas; M. Keatings. (2008)
  • A systematic review examining ASD vocational practices, supports and models.. D. B. Nicholas. International Society for Autism Research. 239. (2013)
  • Street involved youth: Examining genuine partnership with street youth in qualitative research. K. Dong; M. Newton; J. Shankar; M. McCoy; B. Edgecumbe; A. M. McLaughlin; M . dejong-Berg; P. Smyth; C. Peterson; A. Calhoun; L Kane; E. Khalema; D. Nicholas; K. Latoszek; F. Hamilton. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 60. (2011)
  • ‘Just for Dads’: An Evaluation of an Online Support Group for Fathers of Children with a Brain Tumour. R. Hetherington; E. Bouffet; D. B. Nicholas; A. Chahauver; D. Brownstone; T. McNeil. (2008)
  • Opportunities and conundrums of triangulation in grounded theory research.. T. Jubenville; R. Zulla; D. Nicholas. International Institute for Qualitative Methods. 1-1. (2016)
  • The Impact of Autism Services On Mothers' Workforce and Leisure Participation and Wellbeing. International Society for Autism Research. 243. (2013)
  • Examining vocational services for adults with autism.. D. B. Nicholas. International Society for Autism Research. 473. (2013)
  • Texting teens in transition: Considering the use of social networking technology in research. D. B. Nicholas; G. Rempel; K. Rankin; J . Magill-Evans; L. Fricker; A. Mackie. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 65. (2011)
  • Concerns, Needs and Expectations of Parents and Caregivers of Children with Severe Cerebral Palsy: What do Health Care Providers need to Know?. D. B. Nicholas. (2008)
  • Evaluation of a family camp intervention in paediatric heart transplant. International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. 30. (2012)
  • Examining transition from youth to adolescent to adult care for youth with chronic disease.. Nova Sciences Publishers Inc.. 171. (2012)
  • Particpatory Research Partnerships in Autism Research.. International Society for Autism Research. 258. (2013)
  • A Qualitative Evaluation of a Resource Book for Parents of Children Newly Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. L. Steel; J. Mulligan; D. B. Nicholas. (2008)
  • Coming of age: Examining the transition from child to adult services for people with autism.. M. Milen; D. Nicholas. International Society for Autism Research. 242. (2013)
  • Synthesis review of qualitative studies in autism. M., Roberts; L., Clarke; D. Nicholas; W., Evans; L., MacCulloch; M., J.; Vineet Saini; M., Lach; M.; R., Barrett; D., Spolestra. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 63. (2011)
  • Participatory research with street involved youth: Improving access to emergency department services. P. Smyth; A. Calhoun; K. Dong; A. M. McLaughlin; A. Newton; C. Kilmer; J. Shankar; M . deJong-Berg; F. Hamilton; D. B. Nicholas. International Institute for Qualitative Research. 61. (2012)