Dr. Kathleen Dobson
Dr. Kathleen Dobson is an associate scientist at the Institute for Work & Health. Dobson holds a PhD in epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and an MSc in health research methodology from McMaster University.
Dobson’s research aims to understand how Canadians who experience mental illness and mental health challenges participate in the labour force. Her research also explores the long-term health and employment experiences of injured workers. Dobson’s methodological expertise focuses on longitudinal methods in complex observational data sources.
Prior to Dobson’s current position, she was a research associate at the Institute for Work & Health, where her research projects focused on determining trajectories of health behaviours, such as alcohol use and cigarette smoking, among working Canadians and exploring how these trajectories are influenced by work environments.
As an epidemiological scientist, I aim to answer questions that are of interest to scientists, policy-makers and, most importantly, Canadians from all walks of life. I can’t think of more important areas of study than work and health. They touch every aspect of our lives, from how we spend our days, to where we live, and to who we have in our social support networks. My research to date has been focused on the relationship between work and health over decades-long timelines, with long-term findings that offer valuable evidence to inform equitable health and employment policy.– Kathleen Dobson
- First Responder Mental Health Treatment Services: Formative evaluation of a pilot program. Funded by Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Ongoing.
- TIE-C-MI: Trajectories of Income and Employment of Canadians with Mental Illness. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Ongoing. (PI on the project)
- Using decision-tree machine learning to identify worker movement typologies . Ongoing.
Speaker Series presentations
- Persistent pain: its role in work absence, health, and employment after a disabling work-related injury . IWH Speaker Series. November 15, 2022.
- Uncovering the impact of a depressive episode on employment earnings of Canadian workers. IWH Speaker Series. November 9, 2021.
- Trends in depression and anxiety among Canadian labour force participants (2000-2016). IWH Speaker Series. October 22, 2019.
Interviews and articles
- One in four young adults in the U.S. have poor mental health—and the lowest earnings among their peers. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 111, Winter 2023.
- Study finds long-term pain an issue for many injured workers. Safety+Health. November 14, 2022. Available from: https://www.safetyandhealthmagazine.com/articles/23236-study-finds-long-term-pain-an-issue-for-many-injured-workers
- 7 in 10 injured workers still experience pain 18 months later. Canadian HR Reporter. November 9, 2022. Available from: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/employment-law/7-in-10-injured-workers-still-experience-pain-18-months-later/371355
- IWH study finds 7 in 10 injured workers still experience pain more than a year after injury. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 110, Fall 2022.
- Having depression leads to lower earnings over 10 years: study. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 104, Spring 2021.