Examining the Efficacy of Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions for Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders Delivered Through Virtual Care

Best, Michael W | $50,000

Ontario University of Toronto 2020 CIHR Operating Grant

Schizophrenia-spectrum disorders are the most persistent and debilitating mental health disorders. Individuals with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia-spectrum disorders are among those projected to experience the most negative effects to well-being from the COVID‑19 pandemic. Ongoing clinical services have largely been discontinued due to social contact restrictions and access to in-person care has been suspended in most regions. In efforts to maintain clinical services, many programs have turned to virtual delivery of mental health services. However, there is little evidence to suggest which interventions can be effectively delivered through virtual care, and which are only effective when delivered in-person. Due to research suggesting that some interventions can actually cause harm when delivered virtually, and the increasing need for virtual services, it is imperative that we understand which evidence-based treatments should be offered virtually and which should not. The proposed project will conduct a rapid scoping review, meta-analysis, and survey of experts and service-users to determine the efficacy of virtual delivery of ten evidence-based interventions for schizophrenia-spectrums. These results will be disseminated to local and national partners to inform priorities for future research and guidelines for providing virtual care.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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