Elizabeth Keys

Assistant Professor

School of Nursing
Other Titles: Adjunct Clinical Associate Faculty of Nursing University of Calgary, Adjunct Appointee School of Nursing Dalhousie University
Email: Elizabeth.Keys@ubc.ca

Graduate student supervisor

Research Summary

Pediatric sleep; Parent-child interactions; Infant and parental mental health; eHealth and precision health; Community engagement; Community and public health nursing; Mixed methods; Knowledge synthesis; Integrated knowledge translation and implementation science


Dr. Elizabeth Keys is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. She has a clinical background in community and public health nursing focused on promoting child and family wellbeing in the community. The goal of her program of research is to promote and maintain infant and parental mental health by supporting parent-child interactions and sleep health. In her research, Dr. Keys examines how innovative approaches and models of care, such as eHealth and precision health, can be leveraged to contribute to sustainable health services transformation that results in real-world improvements in the lives of families. Dr. Key’s research is grounded in the value that genuine community and stakeholder engagement is essential to creating meaningful changes. Dr. Keys uses mixed and multiple methodologies for her research, which is strengthened by her interdisciplinary and team-based approach.

Prior to joining the School of Nursing at UBC Okanagan in 2021, Dr. Keys completed an interdisciplinary CIHR-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Dalhousie University in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience. During her postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Keys modified the ABCs of SLEEPING mobile app for use with parents of infants aged 6 to 12 months of age. Dr. Keys obtained her PhD and BN from the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. For her PhD, Dr. Keys developed and evaluated a home visiting parent-child interaction intervention (Play2Sleep) designed to improve infant sleep. During her graduate training, Dr. Keys also participated in the Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program and was an affiliate member of the Western Regional Training Centre for Health Services Research (Dept. of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary)  In addition to her graduate training, Dr. Keys has completed training in group facilitation and consensus building, holds national certification in community health nursing, has advanced training in parent-child interaction assessment and intervention from Parent-Child Relationship Programs at the Barnard Center (School of Nursing, University of Washington) and completed a 4-week Observership with the internationally recognized sleep center at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Keys has taught in both undergraduate and graduate courses, including applied statistics, quantitative research design, and off- and on-campus undergraduate practice in community and families. Dr. Keys began her nursing career working for Alberta Health Services as a public health nurse in both nurse-led well-child clinics and school nursing, where she used a family systems nursing perspective to support the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities.


Google Scholar


PDF Dalhousie University, 2019-2020
PhD University of Calgary, 2019
BN (Distinction), University of Calgary, 2007
BSc (Cellular, Molecular, and Microbial Biology), University of Calgary, 2003

Research Interests & Projects

For details of current research and projects, please visit:

The SLeep solUtions to proMote Better Early childhood Relationships (SLUMBER) Research Lab (ubc.ca)

Selected Publications & Presentations

Selected Publications

  • Jemcov, A., Keys, E., & Corkum, P.  (In press) Feasibility testing of the ABCs of SLEEPING mobile app intervention to improve sleep in school-aged children.  Clinical Practice in Paediatric Psychology
  • Cook, F., Conway, L., Gartland, D., Giallo, R., Keys, E. & Brown, S. (2020). Profiles and predictors of infant sleep problems across the first year. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 41(2): 104-116. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000733
  • Keys, E., Norris, J.M., Cameron, E.E., Bright, K.S., Tomfohr-Madsen, L.M., and Benzies, K. (2019). Recruitment and retention of fathers with young children in early childhood health intervention research: a systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. Systematic Reviews, 8, 300. doi:10.1186/s13643-019-1215-1 
  • Schwichtenberg AJ, Abel EA, Keys E, & Morsbach Honaker S. (2019). Diversity in pediatric behavioral sleep intervention studies, Sleep Medicine Reviews, 47:103-111. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2019.07.004
  • Bright, K., Ginn, C., Keys, E., Brockway, M., Benzies, K., Tomfohr-Madsen, L., Doane, S. (2018). Study protocol: Determining research priorities of young Canadian families (the Family Research Agenda Initiative Setting Project – FRAISE). Frontiers in Public Health, Public Health Education and Promotion, 6(228). doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2018.00228
  • Keys, E., Benzies, K. M., Kirk, V., & Duffett-Leger, L. (2018). Using Play to Improve Infant Sleep: A Mixed Methods Protocol to Evaluate the Effectiveness of the Play2Sleep Intervention. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9(109). doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00109
  • Keys, E., & Benzies, K. (2018). A proposed nursing theory to inform nursing research and practice related to infant sleep and development. Nursing Science Quarterly, 31(3): 279-286. doi: 10.1177/0894318418774947
  • Keys, E., McNeil, D., Wallace, D., Bostick, J., Churchill, J. A., & Dodd, M. (2017). The New Parent Checklist: A tool to promote parental reflection. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 42(5), 276-282. doi:10.1097/nmc.0000000000000356
  • Keys, E., & Rankin, J. A. (2015). Bed Sharing, SIDS research, and the concept of confounding: A review for public health nurses. Public Health Nursing, 32(6), 731-737. doi:10.1111/phn.12200

Selected Grants & Awards


  1. Pragmatic trial of two novel pathways for implementation of the Better Nights, Better Days (BNBD) online program to promote and protect the sleep, mental health, psychosocial wellbeing, and family resiliency of children and families during and after COVID-19 pandemic. CIHR Operating Grant: COVID-19 Mental Health & Substance Use Service Needs and Delivery (2020 – 2021: $179,700)
    • Research Team: Corkum (PI),Bastien (Knowledge User, Canadian Sleep Society); Co-Is: Keys, Barwick, MacKenzie, Ralph, Brown, Constantin, Godbout, Gruber, Reid, Stremler, Smith, Venkat, Weiss, Witmans; Collaborators: Hanlon-Dearman, Ipsiroglu, Shea.
  2. Prediction, Prevention, and interventions for Preterm birth: the P3 cohort. Calgary Health Trust Newborn-Maternal Health Research Initiative (2020 – 2024: $5,000,000)
    • Research Team: PI: Metcalfe, A; Slater, D; Leijser, L; Co-Is: Mehrem, A; Ahmed, S; Anderson, D; Benlamri, A; Benzies, K; Brar, S; Brockway, M; Campbell, D; Chaput, K; Dean, W; DeVetten, G; Esser, M; Forkert, N; Garcia Flores, J; Graham, S; Hemberger, M; Hendson, L; Hetherington, E; Hornaday, K; Johnson, J; Johnston, C; Keys, E; Lebel, C; Malebrache, M; McDonald, S; McMorris, C: McNeil, D; Mineyko, A; Mohammad, K; Nerenberg, K; Reimer, R; Seow, C; Shafey, A; Stephenson, N; Sycuro, L; Tomfohr-Madsen, L; , Tough, S; Wood, S; Zein, H; Collaborators: Bandali, F; Bray, S; Edwards, S; Wei, X.
    • Sub-project: ‘We’re going home’: Evaluation of a father-friendly digital platform to facilitate the transition from NICU to home for parents of preterm infants
      • Core Research Team: PIs: Tomfohr-Madsen, Benzies; Co-I: Keys, E., Shafey, A
  3. Sleeping for Two: A randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia experienced
    during pregnancy. CIHR Early Career Investigator Grant (2019 – 2021: $104,975)

    • Research Team: Tomfohr-Madsen (PI); Co-Is: Campbell, Giesbrecht, Keys, Madsen, Metcalfe, Mrklas, Williamson
  4. What are the top 10 research priorities for families who are expecting or parenting an infant to age 24 months? Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (2017 – 2020: $60,000)
    • Research Team: Co-PIs: Keys, Brockway, Ginn, Bright, & Benzies. Co-I: Tomfohr-Madsen.

Select Awards

  • 2020 Career Enhancement Award, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program
  • 2019 – 2020 CIHR Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2019 – 2020 Honourary Killam Postdoctoral Scholar
  • 2015 – 2019 Pre-Doctoral Award, Canadian Child Health Clinician Scientist Program
  • 2015 – 2018 Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions Clinician Fellowship
  • 2018 International Research Excellence Award, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary
  • 2016 Inspirational Graduate Student Award, Faculty of Nursing Covenant Health Awards, University of Calgary
  • 2014 Sigma Theta Tau International Scholarship, Canadian Nurses Foundation
  • 2014 Ruth Binnie National Fellowship, Canadian Federation of University Women
  • 2014 Patricia Walker Scholarship for Studies of Childbirth Education and Maternal and Child Health Nursing, Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust


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