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...


DEPRESSD's new individual participant data meta-analysis published in Journal of Psychosomatic Research  | 2020/09/24

We are happy to announce that the DEPRESSD team's paper, "Depression prevalence using the HADS-D compared to SCID major depression classification: An individual participant data meta-analysis", has been published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research ( The study, led by Eliana Brehaut (undergraduate thesis student) who was mentored by Dipika Neupane (analytical coordinator), examined data from 41 studies (6005 participants, 689 with major depression), to compare depression prevalence estimates based on the HADS-D versus the SCID. They found that prevalence based on HADS-D ≥ 8 (24.5%) was more than double the SCID (11.6%), and while HADS-D ≥ 11 (10.7%) was similar, single-study differences were highly heterogeneous. Findings suggest that the HADS-D should not be used as a substitute for a validated diagnostic interview.

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Congratulations to Dr. Andrea Benedetti and the DEPRESSD Team on their new publication! | 2020/09/14

A new study, led by Andrea Benedetti and the DEPRESSD Team, in collaboration with Dr. Gerta Rücker (University of Freiburg) and Dr. Hayley Jones (University of Bristol), has been published in Research Synthesis Methods. The study used DEPRESSD PHQ-9 data to compare 3 methods for meta-analyzing diagnostic test accuracy data when primary studies report accuracy results for only some of the possible cutoff thresholds. Read more about the study:

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SPIN-CHAT Program qualitative interview study funded by CIHR | 2020/08/27

Recently, SPIN received a CIHR grant for conducting qualitative interviews with SPIN-CHAT (SPIN COVID-19 Home-isolation Activities Together) Program Trial participants. SPIN-CHAT participants will be recruited by the SPIN team and invited to individual videoconference-based follow-up interviews that will be led by our research partners, Kelsey Ellis, Delaney Duchek, and Mannat Bansal, from the University of Calgary, under the supervision of Dr. Amanda Wurz. The CIHR funding will also help support SPIN's infrastructure and help us continue to provide online resources to the scleroderma community, free-of-charge.

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Team receives supplementary funding from CIHR for the living systematic review | 2020/08/26

This week, members of the team received an additional $199,836 from the CIHR to supplement previous CIHR and MI4 funding for a living systematic review on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant supports continued work in dissemination and processing a high volume of evidence. Thank you to the CIHR! Congratulations to team members Yutong Wang, Ankur Krishnan, Kevin Jutras, Olivia Bonardi, Danielle Rice, Jill Boruff, Marleine Azar, Chen He, Dr. Sarah Markham, Sheryl Sun, Dr. Yin Wu, Ian Thombs-Vite, and Drs. Benedetti and Thombs.

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Congratulations on DEPRESSD Team's new publication in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics! | 2020/08/21

We are happy to announce that the DEPRESSD Team published a paper entitled “Probability of Major Depression Classification Based on the SCID, CIDI, and MINI Diagnostic Interviews: A Synthesis of Three Individual Participant Data Meta-Analyses” in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics. This study, led by Dr. Yin Wu (DEPRESSD’s postdoctoral research fellow), combined datasets from over 200 studies (around 70,000 participants, ) and showed how different diagnostic interviews perform differently, was really important and the first meta-research synthesized IPD meta-analyses. The results suggested that, adjusting for depressive symptom levels and participant characteristics, compared to the SCID, the MINI classified major depression more often. Odds of depression classification with the CIDI increased less as symptom levels increased. Based on the findings, mental health researchers should carefully consider the interview characteristics when interpreting research that used diagnostic interviews to classify depression.

Read more about the study

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