Meet our team
DEPRESSD is an international collaborative project involving experts in health policy, psychiatry and statistics as well as investigators who have collected depression screening data. Our mission is to synthesize the global depression screening data in order to develop and apply rigourous methods on assessing depression screening tool accuracy that minimize bias and provide evidence to inform research and policy to improve mental health care. The project builds a database for shared usage and also provides a unique platform for trainee development, including skills in evidence synthesis and statistical modelling.
Welcome Jenny to the team!
Dr. Jieting (Jenny) Zhang joined the DEPRESSD team as a visiting professor in October. She is an associate professor in School of Psychology, Shenzhen University, China. Her research interests include the influence of childhood adversity on mental health and mindfulness-based interventions. Read more about Jenny here.
Congratulations to Yin and the DEPRESSD team on their publication in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology!
Dr. Yin Wu and the team reviewed data contribution to the four depression screening tool accuracy individual participant data meta-analyses (IPDMAs). We found that 65% of 456 eligible studies contributed data overall; data contribution was associated with multiple characteristics of primary studies. Over 80% of 161 non-contributions were because authors were unreachable or data were unavailable. This was the largest study to investigate data contribution to IPDMAs that has examined characteristics of eligible studies and the first in the field of diagnostic test accuracy, which may support future research to promote data contribution to IPDMAs. Read more about the publication here: link.
Position Available: Full-Time Analyst. APPLY NOW!
We are currently seeking applicants for a full-time analyst position. Please read here for more details.
The start date is flexible, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
To apply: Applicants should send (1) a cover letter, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) an unofficial transcript, (4) a writing sample, and (5) contact information for three references to Ms. Marie-Eve Carrier (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Editorial on Depression and Anxiety Screening in BMJ!
Drs Thombs and Rice, along with colleagues Dr. Sarah Markham and Dr. Roy Ziegelstein, were commissioned by the BMJ to discuss new screening recommendations from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. See the editorial here: LINK.
LSR team’s symposium presented at the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Convention 2023!
Team members Dr. Yin Wu (moderator), Letong Li, Kexin Li and Diana Jiang (co-presenters) recently presented their symposium titled “Mental Health Intervention Effects in the General Population and Among Youth and Older Adults to Inform Management Strategies During and Post-COVID-19: Evidence from an Ongoing Living Systematic Review” at the 2023 CPA convention in Toronto. Kexin also presented her poster on loneliness among older adults during COVID-19. Congratulations to the team!
Welcome Gabriel to the team!
Gabriel joined the DEPRESSD team as a Mitacs research intern in June 2023. She majors in global health at the University of Hong Kong, where she has worked with various research teams. Gabriel’s research interests include psychiatric epidemiology and Mendelian randomization. Read more about Gabriel here.
Welcome Daniel to the team!
Daniel Henao-Díaz joined the DEPRESSD team as a Mitacs intern in June 2023. He has worked as a physician after receiving his medical degree from the University of Caldas (Colombia) in 2017. Currently, Daniel is studying mathematics and physics education at the Catholic University of Manizales (Colombia). Learn more about Daniel here.
Welcome Brienne to the team!
Brienne Tougas joined the DEPRESSD team as a research assistant in May 2023. She is currently studying psychology at McGill, where she gained research experience in education and mental health. Brienne wants to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology and conduct research on how traumatic life events can impact mental health and well-being, particularly in youth. Read more about Brienne here.
Welcome Monica to the team!
Monica D’Onofrio joined the DEPRESSD team in April as a summer Research Assistant. She completed her BSc in Physiology at McGill in December, where she worked in cancer research. She’s interested in mental health and aims to pursue a degree in clinical psychology. Read more about Monica here.
Welcome Afra to the team!
Dr. Afra Alkan has joined the DEPRESSD team as a postdoctoral fellow in April. She completed her PhD in Biostatistics at Ankara University in 2022 in Ankara, Türkiye. Her research interests include evaluation of diagnostic accuracy measures, multivariate analysis, longitudinal data analysis, and R programming. Learn more about Afra here.
Opinion piece published in BMJ!
Dr. Sarah Markham, a patient partner on our team, recently published an opinion piece in BMJ in response to our team’s latest publication titled “Comparison of mental health symptoms before and during the covid-19 pandemic: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analysis of 134 cohorts.” The article emphasized the importance of high-quality research in the field of mental health. Read the full article here.
Congratulations to the Sheryl and the COVID-19 LSR team on their publication in BMJ!
A living systematic review on COVID-19 mental health changes, led by Sheryl and co-authored by other LSR members, has been published in the BMJ. This review evaluated longitudinal studies that compared mental health outcomes prior to the pandemic and during COVID-19. The team analyzed data from 134 cohorts of people from 31 countries. They found that there are no or minimal changes in mental health among the general population and 11 subgroups (e.g., age groups, sex or gender, pre-existing medical or mental health conditions). One exception is among women for whom there were consistent negative small changes across outcome domains. The results suggest that mental health in COVID-19 is more nuanced than previously assumed and that this is largely a story of resilience. To read the paper in BMJ [LINK] and view the infographic [LINK], click on the provided links.
Congratulations to Yin Wu and the DEPRESSD team on their publication in Psychological Assessment!
Dr. Wu and the team compared the accuracy of the 7-item Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale Depression subscale (HADS-D) with the 14-item full scale (HADS-T) to screen for depression. In this study, 20,700 participants (2,285 major depression cases) from 98 studies were included. We found that sensitivity and specificity of the HADS-T were not superior to the HADS-D for detecting major depression. Thus, using the full 14-item HADS-T for depression screening would require additional time and patient burden without improving accuracy. Read more about the publication here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36689386/.
Congratulations to Marc on receiving the MUHC 2023 Studentship!
We are excited to share that Marc Parsons (McGill PhD candidate in biostatistics and DEPRESSD team member) has been granted a McGill University Health Centre Research Institute (RI-MUHC) 2023 Studentship for his proposed thesis work entitled: Using flexible regression methods to analyse depression trajectories in an individual participant data meta-analysis of pregnant and postpartum women. This studentship was awarded based on the basis of academic performance, publications, research experience, training environment, and the merits of the proposed research project.
Congratulations to Elsa on her publication in the International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research!
A meta-research review led by team member Elsa-Lynn Nassar and co-authored by other team members, including Brooke Levis, Marieke Neyer, and Danielle Rice, was recently published in the International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research. The team assessed the completeness and transparency of reporting of recently published depression screening accuracy studies. A total of 106 studies were included and assessed for consistency with the Standards for Reporting of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (STARD) statement requirements. Overall, the team found that recently published depression screening accuracy studies are not optimally reported, with individual studies adequately reporting an average of approximately a third of the items in the STARD checklist. Of the 34 STARD items or sub-items, there were 8 items adequately reported, 7 partially reported, 11 inadequately reported, and 4 not applicable in ≥ 50% of included studies; the remaining 4 items had mixed reporting. The team concluded that there is a need for attention to more fulsome reporting of methodological conduct of these studies, mostly related to test methods, test results, and analysis aspects. In order to improve the quality of reporting in depression screening accuracy studies, the research community, journal editors, reviewers, and funders should endorse and implement adherence to STARD. To learn more about the study, click here!
Congratulations to the DEPRESSD team on receiving a new CIHR funding!
We are excited to share that the DEPRESSD team was awarded a 5-year funding (1.4 million) by CIHR for “The DEPRESsion Screening Data (DEPRESSD) Project: A Novel International Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis Collaboration to Advance Research on Depression Screening Tool Accuracy, Develop Statistical Methodology, and Conduct Meta-Research.” This grant will allow our team to update datasets for depression screening tools and conduct related studies in three categories: clinical, development and evaluation of Statistical Methods for IPDMA (Individual participant data meta-analysis) , and meta-research.
Congratulations to Tiffany and the COVID-19 LSR team on their publication in Scientific Reports!
We are happy to share that the COVID-19 LSR team's paper on sex and gender differences in mental health symptom changes from pre-pandemic to early-pandemic is now published in Scientific Reports. This paper, led by Tiffany, identified 12 studies that reported dichotomized sex or gender data both prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assessed outcomes included anxiety symptoms, depression symptoms, general mental health, and stress. The paper concludes that mental health outcomes did not differ or were worse by small amounts among females/women compared to males/men during early COVID-19. Mental health changes should continue to be monitored longitudinally in COVID-19 taking into consideration sex and gender, as well as other population subgroups. Read more about the publication here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-022-14746-1.
Congratulations to the DEPRESSD Team on receiving new funding from CRCC and SSHRC!
We are thrilled to share that our DEPRESSD team was awarded a 1-year grant ($237,861) of New Frontiers in Research Fund. 2021 Innovative Approaches to Research in the Pandemic Context by Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for our project “Comparison of depression research diagnoses and symptom scores obtained via conventional in-person and alternative methodologies”. This funding will allow the team to robustly evaluate how data collection methods, especially alternative methods increasingly used in COVID-19 may influence sensitive mental health assessments. Thanks to Yin for leading this!