Welcome to the new Schulich Peer-Reviewed Publication Database!
The database is currently in beta-testing and will be updated with more features as time goes on. In the meantime, stakeholders are free to explore our faculty’s numerous works. The left-hand panel affords the ability to search by the following:
Faculty Member’s Name;
Area of Expertise;
Whether the Publication is Open-Access (free for public download);
Journal Name; and
At present, the database covers publications from 2012 to 2020, but will extend further back in the future. In addition to listing publications, the database includes two types of impact metrics: Altmetrics and Plum. The database will be updated annually with most recent publications from our faculty.
If you have any questions or input, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Ahmed, F., El Morr, C., Ritvo, P., Othman, N., Moineddin, R., Ashfaq, I., Bohr, Y., Ferrari, M., Fung, A., Hartley, L., Maule, C., Mawani, A., McKenzie, K., Williams, S. (2020). "Effectiveness of an 8-Week Web-Based Mindfulness Virtual Community Intervention for University Students on Symptoms of Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial", JMIR Mental Health, 7(2).
A student mental health crisis is increasingly acknowledged and will only intensify with the COVID-19 crisis. Given accessibility of methods with demonstrated efficacy in reducing depression and anxiety (eg, mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]) and limitations imposed by geographic obstructions and localized expertise, web-based alternatives have become vehicles for scaled-up delivery of benefits at modest cost. Mindfulness Virtual Community (MVC), a web-based program informed by CBT constructs and featuring online videos, discussion forums, and videoconferencing, was developed to target depression, anxiety, and experiences of excess stress among university students.
The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of an 8-week web-based mindfulness and CBT program in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress (primary outcomes) and increasing mindfulness (secondary outcome) within a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with undergraduate students at a large Canadian university.
An RCT was designed to assess undergraduate students (n=160) who were randomly allocated to a web-based guided mindfulness–CBT condition (n=80) or to a waitlist control (WLC) condition (n=80). The 8-week intervention consisted of a web-based platform comprising (1) 12 video-based modules with psychoeducation on students’ preidentified life challenges and applied mindfulness practice; (2) anonymous peer-to-peer discussion forums; and (3) anonymous, group-based, professionally guided 20-minute live videoconferences. The outcomes (depression, anxiety, stress, and mindfulness) were measured via an online survey at baseline and at 8 weeks postintervention using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire Short Form (FFMQ-SF). Analyses employed generalized estimation equation methods with AR(1) covariance structures and were adjusted for possible covariates (gender, age, country of birth, ethnicity, English as first language, paid work, unpaid work, relationship status, physical exercise, self-rated health, and access to private mental health counseling).
Of the 159 students who provided T1 data, 32 were males and 125 were females with a mean age of 22.55 years. Participants in the MVC (n=79) and WLC (n=80) groups were similar in sociodemographic characteristics at T1 with the exception of gender and weekly hours of unpaid volunteer work. At postintervention follow-up, according to the adjusted comparisons, there were statistically significant between-group reductions in depression scores (β=–2.21, P=.01) and anxiety scores (β=–4.82, P=.006), and a significant increase in mindfulness scores (β=4.84, P=.02) compared with the WLC group. There were no statistically significant differences in perceived stress for MVC (β=.64, P=.48) compared with WLC.
With the MVC intervention, there were significantly reduced depression and anxiety symptoms but no significant effect on perceived stress. Online mindfulness interventions can be effective in addressing common mental health conditions among postsecondary populations on a large scale, simultaneously reducing the current burden on traditional counseling services.