Dr. Dorcas Beaton
Dr. Dorcas Beaton is a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health, where she is a member of the measurement research group and the lead researcher for a health measurement scale called the DASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand) Outcome Measure. She is also an affiliate scientist at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital. She has held an associate professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto along with graduate appointments in the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute and the Clinical Epidemiology Program of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, both at the University of Toronto.
Beaton is currently on the executive of OMERACT (Outcome Measurement in Rheumatology Research), an international organization promoting evidence-based outcome selection for core outcome sets in clinical trials in musculoskeletal disorders. She is chair of the methodology group and co-chair of the technical advisory group at OMERACT.
With a background in occupational therapy, Beaton worked as a clinician for several years in orthopedics and upper extremity rehabilitation before transitioning to research. She holds an MSc in clinical epidemiology and a PhD in health measurement, specifically on the interpretation of change scores from outcome measures.
Beaton's research interests focus on measurement (i.e. measuring disability, work disability and recovery, as well as interpreting scores), translation of measurement into clinical practice, and the treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal disorders. She conducts quantitative and qualitative research, and supervises graduate students interested in musculoskeletal conditions and measurement-related sciences.
“Why do I focus on health measurement? I’m intrigued by how people know they’re getting better. People gauge their recovery from a musculoskeletal condition in many different ways. Some adapt to a disability; some redefine what good health means. Others experience improvements to pain and functional limitations, and a large focus of my work has been to develop and improve pain measures to capture these improvements.” – Dr. Dorcas Beaton
- Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities (ACED): A partnership to deliver workplace resources to sustain employment of people with chronic, episodic conditions. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Signature Initiative. Ongoing.
- Understanding the employment needs and experiences of baby boomers with arthritis and diabetes. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Completed.
- Understanding the relationship between osteoarthritis and work: a systematic review. Funded by WorkSafeBC. Completed.
- Providing research evidence for WHO guideline on rehabilitation services. Funded by World Health Organization. Completed.
- Role of aging in return to work and stay at work: a systematic review. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Completed.
- Dobrowolski C, McGinley J, Fazzari M, Su J, Bingham KS, Anderson N, Ruttan L, Beaton DE. Association of mycophenolate and azathioprine use with cognitive function in systemic lupus. Rheumatology. 2023;62(5):1860-1869. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keac540.
- Barraclough ML, Diaz-Martinez JP, Knight A, Bingham K, Su J, Kakvan M, Grajales CM, Tartaglia MC, Ruttan L, Wither J, Choi MY, Bonilla D, Anderson N, Appenzeller S, Parker B, Katz P, Beaton DE. In-person versus virtual administration of the American College of Radiology gold standard cognitive battery in systemic lupus erythematosus: are they interchangeable?. Lupus. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1177/09612033231168477.
- Khoo T, Jones B, Chin A, Terrett A, Voshaar M, Hoogland W, March L, Beaton DE. Defining independence: a scoping review by the OMERACT patient perspective of remission in rheumatoid arthritis group. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism. 2023;58:152152. doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152152.
- Chapman LS, Redmond AC, Flurey CA, Richards P, Smith TO, Arnold JB, Beaton DE. Developing an Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) Core set of Outcome Measures for FOot and ankle disorders in RheumaTic and musculoskeletal diseases (COMFORT): core domain set study protocol. Trials. 2023;24(1):65. doi:10.1186/s13063-023-07104-7.
- Gignac MA, Bowring J, Tonima S, Franche RL, Thompson A, Jetha A, Smith PM, MacDermid JC, Shaw WS, Van Eerd D, Beaton DE, Irvin E, Tompa E, Saunders R. A sensibility assessment of the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT): a tool to help workers with an episodic disability plan workplace support. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2022 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1007/s10926-022-10057-4.
Speaker Series presentations
- DASHBash: Celebrating 20 years of the DASH Outcome Measure. IWH Speaker Series. February 23, 2016.
Interviews and articles
- IWH Updates. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 85, Summer 2016.
- DASH developers credit groundwork and ongoing support for measure’s 20-year success. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 84, Spring 2016.
- IWH Updates. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 79, Winter 2015.
- Newly adopted productivity measures help people with arthritis stay at work. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 77, Summer 2014.
- IWH research now has two new “applications”. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 73, Summer 2013.