Dr. JianLi Wang
Professor, Canada Research Chair (Tier I) on Health Data Science and Innovation Departments of Community Health & Epidemiology, and of Psychiatry
Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University
Affiliated Scientist, Nova Scotia Health Authority
B.MSc. Harbin Medical University, P.R.China
M.MSc. Harbin Medical University, P.R.China
PhD University of Calgary, Canada
Risk Predictive Analytics
Workplace Mental Health
Mental Health Services Research
Dr. JianLi Wang
Dr. Wang’s research interests are in two areas: psychiatric epidemiology and risk prediction analytics. In the domain of psychiatric epidemiology, Dr. Wang’s research focuses on understanding the determinants of mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety), suicide behaviors, and mental health service utilization. He strives to translate the epidemiological knowledge into preventive actions. For example, he has taken a preventive approach and target high risk employees and the working population as a whole, by developing and testing intervention strategies for reducing the risk of having mental health problems and enhancing resilience and self-care. In the domain of risk prediction analytics, Dr. Wang’s research focuses on developing risk predictive models using both statistical and machine learning techniques which may be used to inform risk stratification, early identification, enhance the efficiency of health service delivery, and facilitate population health planning. For example, Dr. Wang’s team developed and validated the first sex-specific prediction algorithms for the risk of developing major depression in the Canadian general population. The tools can inform users in the community about their personalized risk of having depression in the future so that high risk users may take preventive actions at early stage to stop the progression to clinical depression. His team is collaborating with decision makers at provincial and federal levels on developing predictive tools for population risk of suicide , which will enable decision makers to identify high risk communities and mobilize resources in advance.
An online risk calculator built using Canadian national data for predicting new onset of major depression.
In collaboration with the Movember Foundation, our research lab aims to find effective ways to prevent workplace depression among men. In a recent study, we brought together 4 panels of experts who rated the helpfulness and feasibility of strategies for mitigating workplace stressors among men. Panellist included academics, HR workers, occupational health professionals, executives and managers, and working men. With this research, we have identified specific solutions to help mitigate stress specific to men in the workplace and in everyday life!
Mental health problems in workplaces are a significant public health and economic issue. Mental illness has significant impacts on workers’ health, personal and family life, and productivity. As such, Dr. Wang’s team is conducting epidemiological studies in the working populations to understand what triggers depression and anxiety in the workplace and the barriers for sustained return-to-work. Working with employers and human resources personnel, the team is also developing and testing intervention programs aiming at improving workers’ health and work environment.