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Current Major Grants and Contracts

Feb. 2022-Jan. 2023

Mar. 2019-Feb. 2023

Pathways and Barriers to Access and Utilization of Internet-Delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) by Diverse Ethnocultural People of Saskatchewan

Funder: Mental Health Research Canada and Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation
PI: Heather Hadjistavropoulos & Ram Sapkota

In this study, our objective is to analyze and address potential pathways and barriers to the access and utilization of Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT), namely the Wellbeing Course, by people of diverse ethnocultural communities or groups, defined by the shared characteristics – e.g., cultural traditions, ancestry, language, national identity, country of origin, and/or physical traits –  unique to, and recognized by, that group living in Saskatchewan through the following research questions:

  • What are the pathways (e.g., advertisements, referral sources) and barriers (e.g., stigma, financial problems, cultural and religious influences, language, lack of awareness, perceived appropriateness, technology use) to the access and utilization of ICBT by people of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds living in Saskatchewan?

  • Is the associated intake and delivery process accessible for patients of diverse cultural background (e.g., a good fit, relevant, compatible given patient context/needs and ethnocultural background)?

  • What improvements are recommended to the Wellbeing Course and associated intake and delivery process to enhance access and utilization by people of diverse ethnocultural backgrounds?

  • Does a Diversity-Enhanced Wellbeing Course and associated intake and delivery process improve accessibility, utilization, acceptability, and patient-reported outcomes?

Enhancing Impact of Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for Alcohol Misuse by Addressing Co-morbidity and Improving Patient Narratives: A Patient-Oriented Research Approach

Funder: Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation and Saskatchewan Centre for Patient-Oriented Research

PI: Heather Hadjistavropoulos

Alcohol misuse is a common problem in Saskatchewan that impacts functioning. Unfortunately, many patients do not receive treatment. Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) represents a novel approach to addressing alcohol misuse. In ICBT, patients review strategies to help with alcohol misuse online over 8 weeks and, if desired, receive support from a clinician via email/phone. While research shows ICBT is effective, program uptake could be greater. Moreover, patients indicate that ICBT could be improved if patients could also access additional resources on common co-occurring concerns (e.g. cannabis, posttraumatic stress, anger). Furthermore, patients indicate it would be beneficial to have more examples or stories to help them participate in treatment.

The purpose of this research is to explore if ICBT for alcohol misuse enhanced with additional resources and patient examples, namely the Alcohol Change Course Enhanced (ACCE), will lead to greater engagement and outcomes than the standard Alcohol Change Course (ACC). Our Patient-Oriented Research Team, consisting of patient partners, therapists, managers, and multidisciplinary researchers, will:

  • Use the literature and patient knowledge to develop additional resources and patient examples to create the ACCE;

  • Deliver the ACCE (n = 100) and benchmark findings against past findings of the ACC in terms of uptake, engagement, and outcomes (i.e., drinks per week, heavy drinking days, self-efficacy, mental health);

  • Collect patient perspectives on the ACCE; and

  • Modify practice and disseminate results broadly.

The research is expected to improve the uptake, quality, and outcomes of ICBT for alcohol misuse in Saskatchewan.

Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury: Randomized controlled trial

Funder: Neilsen Foundation Research Grant

PIs: Heather Hadjistavropoulos & Swati Mehta

The proposed project has four primary aims: (1) to explore the efficacy of Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) in reducing psychological distress and improve coping and quality of life among persons with SCI compared to information only control group; (2) to examine the role of demographic, injury characteristics, pain, and other patient-related predictors and moderators of treatment response; (3) to evaluate service usage and therapist alliance; and (4) to evaluate barriers and facilitators of ICBT implementation among service providers, administrators, persons with lived experiences, and caregivers using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) methodology.

Advancing Mental Health Care by Improving the Delivery of Therapist-guided, Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in Clinical Practice

Funder: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (#152917)(Rated 2/99 in cluster; 16 applications funded in cluster; Final rating 91.13; 475/2887 applications funded in the project scheme)

PI: Heather Hadjistavropoulos

Co-investigators: Nick Titov, Blake Dear, David Gerhard, Harminder Guliani, Julia Witt, Amy Zarzecsny, Nuelle Novik

Knowledge Users: Kathy Willerth, Lorri Carlson, Mary Lee Both, Dori Gaudet, Tracy Muggli, Chad Sayers

Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (ICBT) is a highly standardized process and involves patients reviewing weekly lessons over the Internet. Patients also typically receive brief weekly support from a therapist via secure emails or phone calls. Past research shows that ~75% of patients complete ICBT and report large symptom improvements. Although these results are very promising, research also suggests that ICBT could potentially be improved by being more personalized in terms of treatment duration and amount of therapist contact, especially for clients with more severe symptoms. This research is specifically focused on exploring the extent to which personalization across various dimensions improves ICBT engagement and outcomes, including duration and nature of therapist support, as well as personalization of contact. Key to this research is understanding the extent to which personalized care can be implemented by different clinical teams working in diverse settings and also understanding strengths and challenges of therapists delivering personalized ICBT. The research will ultimately advance how ICBT is used in clinical practice and is expected to lead to improvements in mental health outcomes and mental health care delivery.

Internet-delivered Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Saskatchewan 2023-2027 Budget Year

Funder: Saskatchewan Ministry of Health

PI:  Heather Hadjistavropoulos

The Ministry of Health recognizes the clinical benefits of cognitive behaviour therapy and is committed to improving the accessibility of ICBT for Saskatchewan residents. Under this agreement, the Online Therapy Unit is responsible for delivering ICBT to individuals in Saskatchewan on an annual basis and collaborating with the Saskatchewan Health Authority in the province-wide delivery of ICBT. 

PSPNET – Families: An Ecosystem of Prevention Resources and Supports for Public Safety Personnel (PSP) Families

Funder: Public Health Agency of Canada – Supporting the Mental Health of Those Most Affected by COVID-19: Addressing Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma
Co-PIs: Heidi Cramm, Heather Hadjistavropoulos & Nathalie Reid

The PSPNET Families Wellbeing Hub team is developing mental health promotion resources and supports to complement PSPNET, a federally-funded online platform that offers Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) for Public Safety Personnel (PSP).

PSPNET Families will use the existing PSPNET platform to:

  • Reach PSP families

  • Provide a stigma-free and accessible hub for a continuum of mental health promotion resources and supports

Our goal is to develop and offer trauma-informed mental health resources to serve PSP families, including:

PSPNET Services Agreement with Provinces of PEI, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia

Funder: Government of PEI, New Brunswick Addiction and Mental Health Services, Nova Scotia Department of Justice, Medavie Health Foundation

PI: Heather Hadjistavropoulos PSPNET, CIPSRT

This contract involves delivering and evaluating ICBT for public safety personnel into NS, NB, and PEI.

Development of the Internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Pilot in Support of Post-Traumatic Stress Injuries among Public Safety Officers

Funder: Government of Canada Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Nominated PI: Heather Hadjistavropoulos

Co-Investigator: Nick Carleton

This contribution agreement was informed by a proposal submitted by Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (2017, October). Investing in Healthy Futures for Canada’s Public Safety Personnel: Together We are Stronger.

PSPNET is a clinical research unit located at the Canadian Institute for Public Safety Research and Treatment (CIPSRT) at the University of Regina. PSPNET has tailored Internet-delivered cognitive behaviour therapy (ICBT) programs to public safety personnel (PSP), including first responders. The team delivers services online and conducts research on various aspects of ICBT for PSP. We offer two programs. One is called the PSP Wellbeing Course, which is appropriate for clients who have diverse mental health concerns. The other is called the PSP PTSD Course and is more specific to clients who are primarily concerned with symptoms of posttraumatic stress. PSPNET follows a micro learning health system model, whereby we offer care but, at the same time, conduct research that is designed to iteratively improve ICBT over time.

May 2017-Mar. 2023

Apr. 2023-Mar. 2027

Feb. 2022-Mar. 2024

Dec. 2021-Dec. 2023

Dec. 2018-Mar. 2023

Apr. 2019-Apr. 2022

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