Welcome to the Thombs Research Team Website!

Dr. Brett Thombs is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, a Senior Investigator at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at the Jewish General Hospital, Chair of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care and Director of the Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network (SPIN) and Director of the DEPRESsion Screening Data (DEPRESSD) Project.

Members of the Thombs Research Team work in three projects or areas: (1) SPIN, (2) the DEPRESSD Project, and (3) meta research and policy, which includes the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care (CTFPHC), the development of an extension of the CONsolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) statement for trials conducted in cohorts and other routinely collected data, and other meta-research projects.

Each project group includes research coordinators, research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students who collaboratively work on various aspects of the projects. Check out the individual project sections to learn more about each project team and our current team members.

Latest News...

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Congratulations to Parash Bhandari and the DEPRESSD Team on their new publication!  | 2021/04/08

A new study, led by Parash Bhandari and the DEPRESSD Team, has been published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. This is the first study to use real patient data to estimate the degree that data-driven methods result in selection of inaccurate optimal cutoffs and bias in accuracy estimates. The team found that the optimal cutoffs identified in primary accuracy studies are often incorrect and accuracy estimates are often overstated. Sensitivity was substantially overestimated with a minimal underestimation of specificity, particularly in smaller samples. The implications are twofold: (1) researchers should avoid making recommendations about cutoffs to use in practice and accuracy when reporting results from small studies, and (2) clinicians should only select cutoffs generated from well-conducted meta-analyses or those that are identified consistently across multiple studies. Read more about the study here.

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Elsa-Lynn Nassar awarded SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship for her Master's training with the team!  | 2021/04/01

Congratulations to Elsa-Lynn Nassar, who was awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Canada Graduate Scholarship for her Master’s training with the Thombs research team. Elsa will be joining the SPIN & DEPRESSD teams in May. She began her undergraduate studies at the Lebanese American University and is currently completing her Bachelor's degree at Concordia University. Elsa has already been involved in a number of research projects including work on obsessive-compulsive disorder, bullying, eating disorders, and mental health symptom expression from a cross-cultural perspective.

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National Post coverage on Dr. Thombs and ongoing work of COVID-19 Living Systematic Review Team | 2021/03/29

Dr. Thombs' comments on research done by the COVID-19 Living Systematic Review Team were featured in a National Post article,"There's a lot of resilience': Why mental health is holding up to COVID-19 better than expected". Dr. Thombs describes evidence for mental health resilience at the population level while outlining the need to be concerned about mental health in vulnerable groups, based on findings from the team's ongoing living systematic review of over 50 000 scientific articles. Read the article here.

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Dr. Thombs and work of COVID-19 Living Systematic Review Team featured in Radio-Canada | 2021/03/18

A Radio-Canada article by Valérie Ouellet, entitled "Après les mesures sanitaires s'enchaînent les SOS en santé mentale" (which translates to "After the public health measures comes the mental health SOS"), featured Dr. Thombs' remarks on the validity of call volumes as an indicator of distress and the credibility of suicide rates along with recent research from the COVID-19 Living Systematic Review Team. Dr. Thombs highlights the global effects of the pandemic on mental health, based on findings from the team's ongoing living systematic review of over 45 000 scientific articles, and the monitoring of 8 English and Chinese databases. Read the article (available in French only) here.

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Congratulations on Dr. Shadi Gholizadeh and the SPIN Team's new publication on body image! | 2021/03/09

We are excited to share with you our latest SPIN publication. SPIN's former postdoctoral research fellow, Dr. Shadi Gholizadeh's article on the effects of cosmetic and other camouflage interventions on appearance-related and psychological outcomes among adults with visible differences in appearance has now been published online by BMJ Open. Results from this systematic review of one head-to-head trial and five trials with waiting list or routine care comparators revealed that conclusions about the effectiveness of non-surgical cosmetic or other camouflage interventions could not be drawn, highlighting the critical need for well-designed and conducted trials.In addition to Dr. Thombs, current and former team members who contributed to the study included Danielle Rice, Andrea Carboni-Jiménez, Dr. Linda Kwakkenbos, and Ankur Krishnan, in collaboration with the SPIN Body Image Patient Advisory Team. Read more here.

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DEPRESSD Team awarded $200,000 in latest CIHR competition | 2021/03/03

Congratulations to the DEPRESSD team, which was successful in obtaining two $100,000 Project Grants from CIHR, through the Personalized Health priority announcement! One proposal was for updating our databases on the PHQ-9, EPDS, HADS, and GDS depression screening tools. The other was for advancing statistical methods to use for developing personalized depression screening models.

For more news about the team, please click here ...