skip to main content

Celebrating 75 Years of Innovation in Nursing Education and Research

Learn More | Watch Video

Back to Top
Melissa Northwood


Dr. Northwood joined the School of Nursing in 2004 as an Assistant Clinical Professor. She became an Assistant Professor in 2020. 

Google Scholar 

Select Publications

Select Journal Publications  

  • Northwood, M., Markle-Reid, M., Sherifali, D., Fisher, K, & Ploeg, J. (2020). A cross-sectional study of the prevalence and correlates of urinary incontinence in older home-care clients with diabetes. Canadian Journal of Diabetes. Advance online publication.
  • McArthur, C., Saari, M., Northwood, M., Sheiban Taucar, L., & Boscart, V. (2019). Profiling the characteristics of people who are comatose in long-term and complex continuing care settings. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 20(10), 1331-1334.
  • Ganann, R., Peacock, S., Garnett, A., Northwood, M., Hyde, A., Bookey-Bassett, S., Kennedy, L., Markle-Reid, M., Ploeg, J., Valaitis, R. (2019). Capacity development amongst academic trainees in community-based primary health care research: The Aging, Community and Health Research Unit Experience. Primary Health Care Research and Development, 20(e139): 1–4.
  • Northwood, M., Ploeg, J., Markle-Reid, M., & Sherifali, D. (2019). Understanding the complexity of diabetes and urinary incontinence in older adults receiving home care services: Protocol for a mixed methods study. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18, 1-10.
  • Ploeg, J., Northwood, M., Duggleby, W., McAiney, C., Chambers, T., Peacock, S., Fisher, K., Ghosh, S., Markle-Reid, M., Swindle, J., Williams, A., & Tricsott, J. (2019). Caregivers of older adults with dementia and multiple chronic conditions: Exploring their experiences with significant changes. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice.
  • Ploeg, J., Ireland, S., Cziraki, K., Northwood, M., Davies, B., Higuchi, K., & Murray, M. (2018). A Sustainability Oriented and Mentored Approach to Implementing a Fall Prevention Guideline in Acute Care Over 2 Years. Sage Open Nursing, 4, 1-17.
  • Northwood, M., Ploeg, J., Markle-Reid, M., & Sherifali, D. (2018). Integrative review of the social determinants of health in older adults with multimorbidity. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 74, 45-60. doi: 10.1111/jan.13408 

Select Contributions to Books

  • Hirdes, J., Heckman, G., Geffen, L., Saari, M., Hogeveen, S., & Northwood, M. (2020). interRAI COVID-19 Vulnerability Screener (CVS) Assessment Form and User’s Manual.
  • Peden-McAlpine, C., Northwood, M., & Bliss, D. (2018). Fecal incontinence definition and impact on quality of life. In D. Bliss (Ed.). Management of Fecal Incontinence for the Advanced Practice Continence Nurse. France: Springer Nature.
  • Ostaszkiewicz, J., Peden-McAlpine, C., Northwood, M., Eustice, S., Bliss, D., & Nishimura, K. (2018). Advanced practice continence nursing. In D. Bliss (Ed.). Management of Fecal Incontinence for the Advanced Practice Continence Nurse. France: Springer Nature.
  • Hunter, K.F., Northwood, M., Haggar, V., & Bates, F. (2018). Management of Fecal Incontinence in Community-Living Older/Frail Adults. In D. Bliss (Ed.). Management of Fecal Incontinence for the Advanced Practice Continence Nurse. France: Springer Nature.
  • Bliss, D., Mimura, T., Berghmans, B., Bharucha, A., Chiarioni, G., Emmanuel, A., Maeda, Y., Northwood, M., Peden-McAlpine C., Rafiee, H., Rockwood, T., Santoro, G., Taylor, S., & Whitehead, W. (2017). Assessment and conservative management of faecal incontinence and quality of life in adults.  In P. Abrams, L. Cardozo, A. Wagg & A. Wein (Eds). 6th International Consultation on Incontinence. ICUD/ICS. 


Health System Impact Fellowship, Post-Doctoral Central Canada Award, Canadian Institutes of Health Research. School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo and SE Research Centre.  Enhancing collaborative care planning with older adults receiving home-care services. $155,000. 2019-2020. 


  • Northwood, M., Heckman, G., Didyk, N., Hogeveen, S., & Nova, A. Mobilizing Specialized Geriatric Services to Identify and Triage Older Adults at Risk due to COVID-19 Pandemic Social-Distancing Practices. Specialized Geriatric Services Grants (RGP Central and Department of Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, McMaster University). $14,838. 2020-2021.
  • Northwood, M., Heckman, G., Harrington, C. Leveraging Community Support Services to Support Integrated Health and Social System Response to COVID-19. Mitacs Accelerate. $15,000. 2020. 


The focus of Dr. Northwood’s program of research is health-care system integration for older adults with clinical complexity and their caregivers informed by her clinical practice as a certified gerontological nurse in acute care, complex continuing care, and most recently, home and community care. Dr. Northwood’s aim is to conduct highly embedded research with health- and social-care partners to change and benefit the quality of life and well-being of older adults, the culture of the practice environment, and the integration of the health-care system. The first theme of her program of research is to understand the factors, correlates, and outcomes of clinical complexity for different populations of older adults across different settings of the health-care system using routinely collected, point-of-care assessment data from standardized instruments. The second theme is to develop best practices for nurses and the interprofessional team to assess and care plan for older adults in a person- and family-centred manner that is focused on achievement of client goals. The third theme is to co-design, test and scale nursing and interprofessional interventions that support an integrated health care system. 

© 201​​7 McMaster University  |  1280 Main Street West  |  Hamilton, Ontario ​L8S 4K1  |  905-525-​9140905-525-​9140   |  Contact Us | Terms of Use & Privacy Policy