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 Home / About Us > Dr Norbert Schmitz

Contact info

Dr Norbert Schmitz
Douglas Mental Health University Institute
FBC Building - Room F-2114
6875, LaSalle Boulevard
Montreal, QC H4H 1R3

Tel: 1-514-761-6131, ext. 3379
Fax: 1-514-888-4064
E-mail: norbert.schmitz@mcgill.ca

 

Research keywords

  • Mental Health
  • Depression
  • Psychiatric-Somatic Co-morbidity
  • Quality of Life
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Epidemiology
  • Biostatistics
  • Public Health

 

Norbert Schmitz, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Associate Member, Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health


Biographical Sketch

Norbert Schmitz is currently a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry and an Associate Member of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. Prior to joining McGill University in 2004, Dr Schmitz was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine at Heinrich-Heine-University in Duesseldorf, Germany, and Director of the Research Unit Public Mental Health. Dr Schmitz obtained his PhD in statistics from the University of Dortmund (1995) and a second PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Heinrich-Heine-University in Duesseldorf, Germany (2002). Dr Schmitz currently holds a salary award from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Santé (Chercheur-boursier Senior, 2008).

Click here for pdf CV


Selected Scientific Contributions

The research of Dr Schmitz has added to our understanding of the role of psychological and lifestyle/behavioral factors that contribute to poor functioning and reduced health related quality of life in people with diabetes and other chronic conditions. A recent focus has been on designing and conducting longitudinal community studies as well as on risk factor analysis.

Click here for PubMed listing


Research Interests

Norbert Schmitz's research interests are in the areas of epidemiology and biostatistics, including measurement methodology, outcome assessment, quality of life research, interaction of physical and mental illness, and the evaluation of risk factors for psychiatric-somatic co-morbidity. The lab's current research program is focusing on three topics in mental health research:

1) Psychiatric-somatic comorbidity. The research is concerned with the relationship between mental disorders and somatic chronic conditions. The team is currently conducting three longitudinal community studies of people with diabetes.

2) Psychiatric epidemiology. The researchers are interested in depression and anxiety disorders in the community. The focus is on:

  • Risk factors for mental disorders
  • Association between depression and obesity

3) Measurement of health status. Development and application of methods for the assessment of health status is another focus of interest. This includes the evaluation of instruments as well as the development and application of sophisticated psychometric methods to study health outcomes.


Research projects:

Montreal Diabetes Health and Well-Being Study (DHS). The Montreal Diabetes Health and Well-Being Study is a telephone survey of the adult population in Quebec, Canada. Participants with diabetes were recruited between January 2008 and April 2008 through random selection of phone numbers (random digit dialing, n=2003) and are assessed every year. The purpose of this longitudinal project is to follow the course of diabetes in a community sample and to study the incidence of and risk factors for depression and disability. Funding: CIHR 2007-2014.

Evaluation of Diabetes Treatment Study (EDIT). We are interested in better understanding how diabetes affects people's lives and also how treatment affects their lives in Quebec. In order to get the best representation of how diabetes affects people in the general population we are conducting a study where we randomly selected people who have type 2 diabetes in Quebec (n=2,500). The goal of this study is to assess how diabetes affects people's health and well-being in Quebec and to look more closely at the relationship between treatment, health lifestyle and well-being over time. The results will help improve existing health services in Quebec. Funding: CIHR 2010-2015.

Diabetes Neighborhood and Mental Health Study. The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of the complex relationship between neighborhood environment, physical activity, diet, depression, disability and quality of life in people with diabetes. We are interested in both, geographic neighborhood information and perceived neighborhood characteristics. Funding: Canadian Diabetes Association, 2010-2013.

Depression and obesity. The team is interested in the longitudinal association between depression and obesity in the community. Using data from the longitudinal Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS), we are evaluating the temporal change in prevalence of obesity–depression comorbidity and the longitudinal association from obesity to depression. Funding: CIHR, 2007-2010.

Psychiatric disorders and chronic conditions. The aim of the project was to study the association between mental disorders, chronic somatic conditions, and reduced functioning/disability in a representative Canadian community sample. Using data from the Canadian Community and Health Survey, the team compared the prevalence of functional disability in individuals with chronic medical conditions and comorbid mental disorders in comparison to individuals with either chronic medical conditions or mental disorders alone. Funding: CIHR, 2006-2008.

   
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