Research Project Summary

Year Funded: 2022 Budget: $40,009.09 Funding Agency: WCB-Alberta
Title: Overview of Telehealth Treatments of Psychological Disorders
Category: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Subcategory: Compensation, Disability Management and Return to Work
Keywords: Telehealth, psychological injury, psychological treatment, mental health, literature review, virtual treatment
Link to research website:


Common mental disorders encompass a range of disorders originally covering depression and anxiety and since suggested to include trauma-related and other disorders as well. Relevant diagnoses would include: Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Specific Phobias, Acute Stress Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The purpose of our proposed project is to synthesize and critically analyze the knowledge from systematic reviews that assess the effects of telehealth interventions for adults with common mental disorders (CMDs) in a context applicable to workers’ compensation. This project is a follow-on project to our current research grant, “Rapid review and recommendations for telehealth treatments of psychological disorders,” which addresses the telehealth treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The current project expands upon that ongoing rapid review with a more comprehensive research synthesis covering a broad range of potentially compensable CMDs.


With this project, we aim to:
i. Synthesize and critically analyze the evidence for telehealth interventions that have been studied in adults with CMDs in a workers’ compensation context, or a context applicable to workers’ compensation;
ii. Conduct subgroup analyses as the data allow, for example, on virtual treatment modes for exposure therapy of posttraumatic and anxiety-related disorders and symptoms, a current topic of interest in this field that has the potential for significant cost savings. We also plan to conduct, as far as the data allow, subgroup analyses related to sex and gender, Indigenous people, ethnic minority

Anticipated Results:

We consider that our proposed project is of high practical importance because psychological health in the workplace has become a matter of provincial, national, and international focus, leading to united efforts by stakeholders to preserve and enhance the mental health of workers. When workers suffer impaired mental health, it is very costly to the employer and the system. Telepsychology approaches persist as one of the therapeutic delivery methods commonly utilized in Alberta. Therefore, it is important to understand the best ways to make use of these technologies and treatment modalities over the longer term.


Dr. Sebastian Straube, Dr. Behdin Nowrouzi-Kia, Dr. Quentin Durand-Moreau, Dr. Douglas Gross, Ms. Liz Dennett, Dr. Reidar Hagtvedt, Dr. Ross Tsuyuki, Dr. Martin Ferguson-Pell