Associate Professor

Amy McPherson

Dalla Lana School of Public Health


Bloorview Research Institute - Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
150 Kilgour Road, Toronto, Ontario Canada M4G 1R8
Research Interests
Social and Cognitive Rehabilitation Sciences, Health Promotion, Wellness, Communication, Knowledge Translation, Obesity, Sexuality
MSc, PhD

Research Synopsis

My program of research focuses upon health and wellness promotion in children with long-term conditions and disabilities. Topics include weight-management, body diversity, and sexuality. I have a particular interest in the use of strengths-based interventions to promote healthy lifestyles, such as solution-focused coaching. I am interested in how healthcare professionals, families and children talk about 'difficult' topics and create research-informed resources to support positive conversations.

Knowledge Translation Products:

  1. Fostering positive weight-related conversations: Evidence and real-life learnings from the heart of care. A Knowledge Translation Casebook for healthcare professionals. Available at:
  2. Simulation videos for having weight-related conversations in healthcare. Immediate access by emailing
  3. Having body-positive conversations with children: A parent guide for confident conversations. Coming soon!


Recent Publications


  1. McPherson, AC, Oake, M, Stinson, J. (2020) “Don’t sweat it buddy, it’s OK”: An exploration of the needs of adolescents with disabilities when designing a mobile application for weight management and healthy lifestyles. Disability and Rehabilitation 42 (1): 1569-1577.
  2. Walker, M, Nixon, S, Haines, J, McPherson, AC (2020) "I work out, who cares if I’m bigger”: What matters to youth with ASD regarding weight and their bodies? Developmental Neurorehabilitation 23(1): 31-38.
  3. Cistrone, A, McTavish, K, Kingsnorth, S, McPherson, AC. (2020) Communication tools used in childhood obesity discussions: A scoping review. Child: Care, Health and Development (early online 26 August).
  4. Bonder, R, Provvidenza, C, Hubley, D, McPherson, AC (2020). Putting positive weight-related conversations into practice: The pilot implementation of a knowledge translation casebook. Child: Care, Health and Development 46 (3), 360-368.
  5. McPherson, AC, Biddiss, E, Chen, L, Terrien Church, P, de Groot, JF, Keenan, S, King, GA, Lui, T, Maltas, D, Merette, C, Moffet, H, Moola, FJ, Schwellnus, H. (2019) Children and Teens in Charge of their Health (CATCH): A protocol for a feasibility randomized controlled trial of solution-focused coaching to foster healthy lifestyles in childhood disability. BMJ Open 9 (3). DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025119.


Honours and Awards



  • Health Promotion Mid-Career Academic Recognition Award – 2020
  • Accessibility Excellence in Research Award – 2018 & 2019
  • Dr. John Whittaker Memorial Award – 2016