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: Brooke Levis receives MedStar Award from McGill University's Faculty of Medicine

Congratulations to Brooke Levis, who received a McGill MedStar Award for her BMJ article on the diagnostic accuracy of the PHQ-9 for screening to detect major depression. Read more about the study here, and check out the team's related web tool here.


SPIN-SSLED Study Protocol Published in the Trials Journal 

We are thrilled to announce that SPIN-SSLED’s (Scleroderma Support group Leader EDucation) trial protocol was recently published in the Trials, and is available to all! In the near future, SPIN's patient organization partners will use this program to train and certify their support group leaders, and the SPIN team will work with them to do this. Beyond scleroderma, the SPIN-SSLED Program will be easily adaptable for use in other diseases. Check out the article through the following link:


Congratulations on Dr. Thombs' Induction into the Royal Society of Canada!

Dr. Thombs was honoured this weekend by induction into the Royal Society of Canada (RSC). Dr. Thombs is known for his innovative methods in developing, testing, and disseminating programs to support quality of life for people living with rare diseases, for his leadership in developing novel methods for depression screening and in preventive health care generally, and for his research on health care research methods and reporting. Check out the video here to know more about Dr. Thombs, the new member of the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists in the RSC. Congratulations to Dr. Thombs and the rest of the team!


Congratulations on SPIN's New Publication on the SPIN-SSLED Feasibility Trial!

We are glad to share that SPIN team’s paper entitled "Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network--Scleroderma Support group Leader EDucation (SPIN-SSLED) program: non-randomized feasibility trial" was recently published in BMJ Open. This study, led by Dr. Thombs, is the first trial to test the feasibility of delivering an education and training program via videoconference to scleroderma support group leaders. Results showed that the overall program satisfaction rating was 9.4/10 and that the support group leader outcomes increased according to the pre-post scores on 4 different outcome measures. Currently, a full-scale trial is underway to further evaluate the effectiveness of the SPIN-SSLED Program on support group leaders’ self-efficacy, burnout, emotional distress, and self-reported physical function. To learn more about the SPIN-SSLED feasibility trial, please click here


Dr. Brooke Levis Successfully Defends her Ph.D. Thesis

Congratulations to Dr. Brooke Levis! Dr. Levis successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Using individual participant data meta-analysis (IPDMA) to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9)" on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, at McGill University. Her thesis focused on comparing diagnostic interviews for major depression classification, evaluating the accuracy of the PHQ-9 depression screening tool, and examining bias in accuracy estimates due to using data-driven procedures in small samples. Dr. Levis is currently conducting a postdoctoral fellowship in IPDMA and prediction modelling at Keele University and continues to collaborate with the DEPRESSD Project team.


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