Donna E Stewart

University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (269)936.78 Total impact

  • Liz Midence · Heather M. Arthur · Paul Oh · Donna E. Stewart · Sherry L. Grace
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is associated with significantly lower mortality and improved psychosocial well-being. However, women are less likely to participate than men. This trial tested whether participation in women-only CR results in better health behaviours and psychosocial outcomes than do other models. Methods: Cardiac Rehabilitation for her Heart Event Recovery (CR4HER) was a single-blind randomized trial with 3 parallel arms. Low-risk cardiac patients were recruited from 6 sites in Ontario. Consenting participants completed surveys assessing health behaviours (physical activity, diet, medication adherence, smoking) and psychosocial well-being (social support, quality of life, depressive symptoms) and wore pedometers for 7 days. After intake assessment, eligible participants were randomized to mixed-sex, women-only, or home-based CR. Participants were mailed follow-up surveys and pedometers 6 months later. Results: One hundred sixty-nine patients were randomized, and 116 (68.6%) were retained. Self-reported physical activity increased among women in mixed-sex and women-only CR groups (per protocol and as treated, P < 0.05). Diet improved among women in women-only CR groups (as treated, P < 0.05). Quality of life improved among women in mixed-sex (per protocol and as treated, P < 0.05) and women-only CR groups (per protocol, P < 0.05; as treated, P < 0.01). After testing, women in the mixed-sex CR group had higher anxiety symptoms than did those in the women-only group (per protocol, P = 0.017), and those in the mixed-sex CR group had higher depressive symptoms than did those in the women-only group (as treated, P = 0.001). Analyses adjusted for confounding variables revealed no significant differences in any outcome by model. Post hoc equivalency tests were computed on a per-protocol basis, and all outcomes were equivalent by model. Conclusions: Behavioural and psychosocial outcomes were largely equivalent regardless of model; however, women-only programs may confer an advantage for anxiety and depressive symptoms.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · The Canadian journal of cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To compare program adherence and functional capacity between women referred to mixed-sex, women-only, or home-based CR. Patients & Methods: CR4HER was a single-blind, 3 parallel-arm, pragmatic randomized controlled trial. The study took place between November 2009-July 2013. Low-risk patients with coronary artery disease were recruited from six hospitals in Ontario. Consenting participants completed a pre-program survey and clinical data were extracted from charts. Participants were referred to CR at one of 3 sites. After intake assessment, including a graded exercise stress test, eligible patients were randomized to supervised mixed-sex, supervised women-only, or home-based CR. Six months later, CR adherence and exit assessment data were ascertained. Results: Among 264 consenting patients, 169 (64.0%) were eligible and randomized. Twenty-seven (16.0%) did not attend and 43 (25.4%) attended a different model. Program adherence was moderate overall (54.46±35.14%). Analysis of variance revealed no significant differences based on per protocol analysis (PP; P=.63), but as-treated, home-based participants attended significantly more than women-only (P<.05). Overall, there was a significant increase in functional capacity pre to post-program (P<.001). While there were no significant differences in functional capacity by model at CR exit based on PP, there was a significant difference on an as-treated basis, which sustained adjustment. Women attending mixed-sex CR attained significantly higher post-CR functional capacity than women attending home-based programs (P<.05). Conclusion: Offering women alternative program models may not promote greater CR adherence or functional capacity, however replication is warranted. Other proven strategies such as action planning and self-monitoring should be applied. Clinical Trials Registration Number: ClinicalTrials.gov; NCT01019135
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2016 · Mayo Clinic Proceedings
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    Full-text · Dataset · Feb 2016
  • Donna E. Stewart · Simone Vigod · Ekaterina Riazantseva
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    ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a global public health and human rights problem that causes physical, sexual and psychological harms to men and women. IPV includes physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and/or controlling behaviours perpetrated by a current or previous intimate partner in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship. IPV affects both men and women, but women are disproportionately affected with nearly one third reporting IPV during their lifetime. Physical and sexual harms from IPV include injury, increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy complications and sometimes death. Psychological consequences include depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, impulsivity and suicidality and non-specific physical complaints thought to be related to the traumatic nature and chronic stress of IPV. Children who witness IPV are also negatively impacted in the short and long term. This paper reviews prevalence, risk factors, adverse effects and current evidence-based mental health treatment advice for IPV victims.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Current Psychiatry Reports
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    Liz Midence · Heather M Arthur · Paul Oh · Donna E Stewart · Sherry L Grace
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Cardiac rehabilitation (CR) is associated with significantly lower mortality and improved psychosocial well-being. However, women are less likely to participate than men. This trial tested whether participation in women-only CR results in better health behaviors and psychosocial outcomes versus other models. Methods: CR4HER was a single-blind, 3 parallel-arm, randomized trial. Low-risk cardiac patients were recruited from 6 sites in Ontario. Consenting participants completed surveys assessing health behaviors (physical activity, diet, medication adherence, smoking) and psychosocial well-being (social support, quality of life, depressive symptoms) and wore pedometers for 7 days. Following intake assessment, eligible participants were randomized to mixed-sex, women-only or home-based CR. Participants were mailed follow-up surveys and pedometers 6 months later. Results: 169 patients were randomized, and 116 (68.6%) were retained. Self-reported physical activity increased among women in mixed-sex and women-only CR (per-protocol and as-treated, ps<.05). Diet improved among women in women-only CR (as-treated, p<.05). Quality of life improved among women in mixed-sex (per-protocol and as-treated, ps<.05) and women-only CR (per-protocol, p<.05; as-treated, p<.01). Post-test, women in mixed-sex CR had higher anxious symptoms versus those in women-only (per-protocol, p=.017), and those who in mixed-sex CR had higher depressive symptoms versus those in women-only (as-treated, p=.001). Analyses adjusted for confounding variables revealed no significant differences in any outcome by model. Post-hoc equivalency tests were computed on a per-protocol basis, and all outcomes were equivalent by model. Conclusion: Behavioral and psychosocial outcomes were largely equivalent regardless of model, however women-only programs may confer an advantage for anxiety and depressive symptoms.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The Canadian journal of cardiology
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    ABSTRACT: Violence against women is a global public health problem with negative effects on physical, mental, and reproductive health. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence (SV) as major targets for prevention and amelioration and recently developed clinical and policy guidelines to assist healthcare providers. This project was undertaken to determine the 2013 baseline national policies and clinical guidelines on IPV and SV within the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region to identify strengths and gaps requiring action. Each Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/WHO) country focal point was contacted to request their current national policy and clinical guidelines (protocol) on IPV/SV. We augmented this by searching the internet and the United Nations Women website. Each country's policy and clinical guideline (where available) was reviewed and entered into a scoring matrix based on WHO Clinical and Policy Guidelines. A total score for each heading and subheading was developed by adding positive responses to identify LAC regional strengths and gaps. We obtained 15 national policies and 12 national clinical guidelines (protocols) from a total of 18 countries ("response" rate 66.7 %). National policies were comprehensive in terms of physical, emotional, and sexual violence and recommended good intersectoral collaboration. The greatest gap was in the training of health-care providers. National Guidelines for women-centered care for IPV/SV survivors were strong in the vital areas of privacy, confidentiality, danger assessment, safety planning, and supportive reactions to disclosure. The largest gaps noted were again in training healthcare professionals and strengthening monitoring and evaluation of services. Baseline measurement of policy and clinical guidelines for IPV/SV in LAC PAHO/WHO member countries at the time of issuing the 2013 WHO Clinical and Policy Guidelines reveals some important strengths, but also serious gaps that need to be addressed. The most pressing needs are for concerted training initiatives for healthcare providers and strengthening multisectoral monitoring and evaluation of services. A future evaluation of national policies, clinical guidelines, monitoring and evaluation will need to be conducted to measure the progress of the required scaling-up process.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Public Health
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    Full-text · Dataset · Jul 2015
  • Donna E Stewart

    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · The Lancet
  • Donna E Stewart

    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Archives of Women s Mental Health
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    ABSTRACT: Canadian First Nations (FN) people have experienced and continue to experience significant adversities, yet many demonstrate aspects of resilience. The aim of this qualitative study was to specifically understand Cree adults' meanings and mechanisms of resilience following maltreatment. Ten Cree adults were interviewed individually. Modified grounded theory was used to interpret the transcribed interviews. Participants discussed resilience as a journey of 'survival' and 'overcoming' and pathways to healing that were multifactorial and included traditional teachings. Mental health providers should consider and incorporate these mechanisms into treatment for Cree people, when appropriate, to aid recovery. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · International Journal of Social Psychiatry
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    ABSTRACT: Using combined individual patient data from prospective studies, we explored sex differences in depression and prognosis post-myocardial infarction (MI) and determined whether disease indices could account for found differences. Individual patient data analysis of 10,175 MI patients who completed diagnostic interviews or depression questionnaires from 16 prospective studies from the MINDMAPS study was conducted. Multilevel logistic and Cox regression models were used to determine sex differences in prevalence of depression and sex-specific effects of depression on subsequent outcomes. Combined interview and questionnaire data from observational studies showed that 36% (635/1760) of women and 29% (1575/5526) of men reported elevated levels of depression (age-adjusted odds ratio = 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.60-0.77). The risk for all-cause mortality associated with depression was higher in men (hazard ratio = 1.38, 95% CI = 1.30-1.47) than in women (hazard ratio = 1.22, 95% CI = 1.14-1.31; sex by depression interaction: p < .001). Low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was associated with higher depression scores in men only (sex by LVEF interaction: B = 0.294, 95% CI = 0.090-0.498), which attenuated the sex difference in the association between depression and prognosis. The prevalence of depression post-MI was higher in women than in men, but the association between depression and cardiac prognosis was worse for men. LVEF was associated with depression in men only and accounted for the increased risk of all-cause mortality in depressed men versus women, suggesting that depression in men post-MI may, in part, reflect cardiovascular disease severity.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Psychosomatic Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: The current work builds a definition of irritability from both academic definitions and lay perspectives. In Study 1, a quantitative content analysis of academic definitions resulted in eight main content categories (i.e., behaviour, emotion or affect, cognition, physiological, qualifiers, irritant, stability or endurance, and other). In Study 2, a community sample of 39 adults participated in qualitative interviews. A deductive thematic analysis resulted in two main themes. The first main theme dealt with how participants positioned irritability in relation to other negative states. The second dealt with how participants constructed irritability as both a loss of control and as an experience that should be controlled. The discussion integrates the findings of both studies and provides a concise, but comprehensive definition.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2015 · Emotion Review
  • Donna E Stewart
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    ABSTRACT: Dear Sirs,The recent systematic review of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) during pregnancy by Leiknes et al. (2015) makes an important contribution to our knowledge on this topic. The authors identified 67 case reports involving 169 pregnant women and tabulated maternal demographic and pregnancy descriptions, diagnosis, ECT and anesthesia parameters, and maternal and fetal adverse events from 1942 to 2012. They then analyzed this data and proposed clinical recommendations. Such an analysis is overdue, and the authors deserve our thanks for undertaking this work.There are, however, some concerns about Leiknes et al.’s references on four occasions to a chapter which I co-wrote on “Psychotropic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy during pregnancy and lactation” in “Psychological Aspects of Women’s Health Care: The Interface between Psychiatry and Obstetrics and Gynecology” (Stewart and Erlick Robinson 2001). This chapter was published in 2001, but “an extensive literature update” such as ...
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Archives of Women s Mental Health
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    ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbearing with a 13% prevalence rate. Sleep disturbances are also common, particularly during early postpartum. In theory, l-tryptophan could improve sleep and reduce depressed mood in early postpartum; however, the first step in clinical development of tryptophan for use in postpartum is to measure the effect of oral l-tryptophan on its concentrations in breast milk, which is presently unknown. The aims were to investigate the effect of oral l-tryptophan and alpha-lactalbumin, a protein with high tryptophan concentration, on total and free tryptophan levels in breast milk and plasma, and to compare free tryptophan levels in breast milk with those in common infant formulas. Thirty healthy breastfeeding women were randomly allocated to receive 2g or 4g of l-tryptophan, or, 20g or 40g of alpha-lactalbumin or no supplement. Free tryptophan levels were also measured in 12 different infant formulas. Total tryptophan in breast milk was unaffected by oral administration of l-tryptophan or alpha-lactalbumin (repeated measures of ANOVA (rANOVA), group effect: p=0.93). Both l-tryptophan and alpha-lactalbumin were associated with greater free tryptophan levels in breast milk (rANOVA, group effect: p<0.001) (representing 2% of total tryptophan), but these concentrations were within the range of commonly used infant formulas. In contrast to most sleep inducing medications, l-tryptophan does not affect its total concentration in breast milk. These results support further investigation of dietary l-tryptophan and alpha-lactalbumin as part of a dietary supplementation approach to address sleep disturbances in postpartum and reduce risk of PPD. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · European neuropsychopharmacology: the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
  • Simone N. Vigod · Donna E. Stewart

    No preview · Chapter · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: A single-item measure of self-rated mental health (SRMH) is being used increasingly in health research and population health surveys. The item asks respondents to rate their mental health on a five-point scale from excellent to poor. This scoping study presents the first known review of the SRMH literature. Electronic databases of Medline, CINAHL, PsycINFO, EMBASE and Cochrane Reviews were searched using keywords. The databases were also searched using the titles of surveys known to include the SRMH single item. The search was supplemented by manually searching the bibliographic sections of the included studies. Two independent reviewers coded articles for inclusion or exclusion based on whether articles included SRMH. Each study was coded by theme and data were extracted about study design, sample, variables, and results. Fifty-seven studies included SRMH. SRMH correlated moderately with the following mental health scales: Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire, mental health subscales of the Short-Form Health Status Survey, Behaviour and Symptom Identification Scale, and World Mental Health Clinical Diagnostic Interview Schedule. However, responses to this item may differ across racial and ethnic groups. Poor SRMH was associated with poor self-rated health, physical health problems, increased health service utilization and less likelihood of being satisfied with mental health services. Poor or fair SRMH was also associated with social determinants of health, such as low socioeconomic position, weak social connections and neighbourhood stressors. Synthesis of this literature provides important information about the relationships SRMH has with other variables. SRMH is associated with multi-item measures of mental health, self-rated health, health problems, service utilization, and service satisfaction. Given these relationships and its use in epidemiologic surveys, SRMH should continue to be assessed as a population health measure. More studies need to examine relationships between SRMH and clinical mental illnesses. Longitudinal analyses should look at whether SRMH is predictive of future mental health problems.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · BMC Health Services Research
  • Brett D. Thombs · Donna E. Stewart

    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Psychosomatic Research
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine decision-making among women considering antidepressant medication use in pregnancy. Decisional conflict was assessed using the Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) among pregnant women considering antidepressant medication treatment (N = 40). Overall DCS and subscale scores were compared between women who were antidepressant users and non-users. Semi-structured interviews (N = 10) explored barriers and facilitators of decision-making. Twenty-one women (52 %) had moderate or high decisional conflict (DCS ≥ 25). Overall DCS scores did not differ between groups, but antidepressant use was associated with feeling more adequately informed (subscale mean 17.5, SD 17.9 vs. 42.1, SD 23.8, p = 0.001) and clear about values (subscale mean 16.7, SD 15.1 vs. 29.8, SD 24.0, p = 0.043). Barriers to decision-making were (1) difficulty weighing maternal versus infant health, (2) lack of high quality information, (3) negative external influences, and (4) emotional reactions to decision-making. Facilitators were (1) interpersonal supports, (2) accessible subspecialty care, and (3) severe depressive symptoms. Many pregnant women facing decisions regarding antidepressant medication use experience decisional conflict. Interventions that provide accurate information, assistance with weighing risks and benefits of treatment, management of problematic external influences, and emotional support may reduce decisional conflict and facilitate the decision-making process.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Archives of Women s Mental Health
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    ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression (PPD) has a prevalence rate of 13% and a similarly high proportion of women report a subclinical state of one or more MDE symptoms. The aim was to investigate whether monoamine oxidase-A (MAO-A) VT, an index of MAO-A density, is increased in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortex (PFC and ACC), during PPD or when a PPD spectrum symptom, greater predisposition to crying, is present. MAO-A is an enzyme that increases in density after estrogen decline, and has several functions including creating oxidative stress, influencing apoptosis and monoamine metabolism. Fifty seven women were recruited including 15 first onset, antidepressant naive, PPD subjects, 12 postpartum healthy who cry due to sad mood, 15 asymptomatic postpartum healthy women and 15 healthy women not recently pregnant. Each underwent [(11)C]-harmine positron emission tomography (PET) scanning to measure MAO-A VT. Both PPD, and greater predisposition to crying were associated with greater MAO-A VT in the PFC and ACC (multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), group effect, F21,135 =1.856; p=0.019; mean combined region elevation 21% and 14% in PPD and crying groups, respectively, relative to postpartum asymptomatic). Greater MAO-A VT in the PFC and ACC represents a new biomarker in PPD, and the PPD symptom of predisposition to crying. Novel strategies for preventing PPD (and some PPD symptoms) may be possible by avoiding environmental conditions that elevate MAO-A level and enhancing conditions that normalize MAO-A level. These findings also argue for clinical trials in PPD with the newer, well-tolerated MAO-A inhibitor antidepressants.Neuropsychopharmacology accepted article preview online, 30 July 2014; doi:10.1038/npp.2014.190.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication of childbearing with a 13 % prevalence rate, and there is no widespread approach for prevention. There is an appealing theoretical rationale for oral tyrosine to help prevent PPD. However, the effect of oral tyrosine on its total and free concentrations in breast milk and plasma of breastfeeding mothers is not known. Twenty-four healthy breastfeeding women were randomly assigned to 0, 2, 5, or 10 g of oral tyrosine. Free and total tyrosine in breast milk and free tyrosine in plasma were measured. Free tyrosine was also measured in 12 different infant formulas. Total tyrosine in breast milk did not rise, but there was a slight tendency towards a reduction (up to -12 %; repeated measures ANOVA (RMANOVA): p = 0.074). Maternal plasma tyrosine rose (RMANOVA: p < 0.005). In breast milk, 98 % of tyrosine was in proteins or peptides and 2 % was free. Free tyrosine levels in breast milk rose in each group (RMANOVA: p < 0.005), but levels were within the range found in common infant formulas. The negligible effect of oral tyrosine on its concentration in breast milk supports further development of oral tyrosine as part of a prevention strategy for PPD.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Archives of Women s Mental Health

Publication Stats

8k Citations
936.78 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2000-2016
    • University Health Network
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1987-2015
    • University of Toronto
      • • Department of Psychiatry
      • • Department of Family and Community Medicine
      • • Faculty of Medicine
      • • Saint Michael's Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012-2013
    • McGill University
      • • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      • • Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology (ECP)
      Montréal, Quebec, Canada
  • 2010
    • York University
      • School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of British Columbia - Okanagan
      • Department of Psychology
      Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2006-2008
    • UHN: Toronto General Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Rochester
      Rochester, New York, United States
  • 2007
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1990-2007
    • St. Michael's Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1996-1997
    • Toronto Western Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada