Norbert Schmitz, PhD


Norbert Schmitz is a Professor (tenured) in the Department of Psychiatry and an Associate Member in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at McGill University, Montreal. He is a researcher at the Douglas  Mental Health University Institute and a researcher at the Montreal Diabetes Research Center. 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 from Heinrich-Heine-University in Duesseldorf, Germany (Habilitation, 2002).


Research Interests

My research program currently focuses on three topics in mental health research:

i) I am directing (PI) six longitudinal community studies: the Montreal Diabetes Health and Well-Being Study (DHS), the Evaluation of Diabetes Treatment Study (EDIT), the Emotional well-being, metabolic factors and health status (EMHS) study, the Diabetes, Inflammation and Mental Health study (DIMH), the Depression, Sleep and Heart Disease Study (DESH), and the Depression, Metabolic risk factors and cancer study (DMC). These studies include an interdisciplinary team of Co-Investigators who have expertise in endocrinology, nutrition, psychiatry, physical activity, epidemiology and genetics.

ii) Psychiatric Epidemiology: My research activities involved analyzing data from large national surveys, namely the Canadian National Population Health Survey (NPHS), the Canadian Community Health Surveys and the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA). Using these data, I have addressed a number of research questions including the (longitudinal) relationship between depression, obesity, psychosocial characteristics, and health status. I am a Co-Investigators of several prospective community studies that focus on mental health issues in the community.

iii)  Measurement of health status: I am interested in the development and application of methods for the assessment of health status. This includes the evaluation of instruments as well as the development and application of sophisticated psychometric methods to study health outcomes (e.g., item response theory, structural regression models, latent class analysis, hierarchical linear models, and classification and regression trees). Applications include the interactions of risk factors for impaired functioning.


Other academic activities/contributions

Director of the Clinical Research Division at the Douglas Research Centre  

Vize-Chair of the Douglas Hospital Research Ethics Board

Director of the Biostatistics Consulting Centre at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute


Editor, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

Editor, Journal of Public Health

Associate Editor (Statistics), Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience


Visiting Professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

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