Elizabeth M Badley, PhD

The major focus of Dr. Badley's research is the epidemiology of chronic disabling conditions with particular attention to the personal and societal impacts of arthritis, health services and policy research relating to arthritis, and understanding processes which lead to disability.

She is the founder and director of the Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit (ACREU: www.ACREU.ca), an inter-disciplinary research unit with a comprehensive program of applied research concerned with the impact of chronic conditions and delivery of care to people with chronic disabling disorders, using arthritis as a model.
  • Impact of arthritis
    Dr. Badley's research with population health surveys has established arthritis as one of the most frequently reported chronic health conditions, the major cause of long term disability, and quantified the expected increases with the aging of the baby boomer population. Her ongoing work supports national and provincial health care delivery and policy initiatives to address the burden of arthritis, including arthritis on the chronic disease prevention agenda.

    Research relating to people with arthritis and their families ranges from studies directed to understanding the impact of common symptoms of arthritis (including pain, fatigue, mood and sleep quality) to research relating to employment, and home, leisure and social life. She and her colleagues have also carried out long-term, population-based studies on changes in independence in older people and have ongoing studies on employment in people with arthritis.

  • Health services and policy research
    Acting on findings of deficiencies in primary care management of arthritis, Dr. Badley and her colleagues have developed and are evaluating an evidence-based primary care intervention, known as ''Getting a Grip on Arthritis'' for enhanced team-focused primary health care management of arthritis. To respond to issues about access to treatment and to understand the factors affecting the development of disability associated with arthritis, Dr. Badley and colleagues have established population-based studies on the progression of severe hip and knee arthritis to determine factors affecting access to joint replacement surgery and to learn more about the nature of arthritis in the population. Dr. Badley's work also monitors facilities for arthritis care in the population, including availability of specialists. In-depth studies on the scope of work of orthopedic surgeons and on innovative models of care for arthritis are in progress to address deficiencies in access to care.
  • Understanding processes which lead to disability
    Dr. Badley's research related to functioning and disability is grounded in the WHO International Classifications of Disability and their associated conceptual frameworks. She was one of three authors of WHO's International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities, and Handicaps (ICIDH, 1980), and participated in its revision to become the International Classification of Functioning (ICF, 2000). Her current research applies these conceptual frameworks to increase understanding of the processes by which arthritis and other disabling health conditions have an impact on daily living, in particular to understand how external factors, such as the availability of support in the person's environment, as well as personal resources (such as use of self-management strategies), can mitigate the disabling impact of chronic health conditions.

For a list of Dr. Badley's publications, please visit PubMed or Scopus.

Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Director, Arthritis Community Research and Evaluation Unit
Member, UHN Arthritis and Autoimmunity Research Centre
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences