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angle-left Deborah Da Costa, PhD

Scientist, RI-MUHC, 5252 de Maisonneuve

Metabolic Disorders and Complications Program

Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University



parental health • behavioural medicine • lifestyle interventions • chronic illnesses • pregnancy/postpartum

Research Focus

My research focuses on the interplay between modifiable psychosocial and behavioural (e.g. exercise) factors and health status in various chronic illnesses and in relation to depression in populations at risk. This has laid the foundation for the knowledge-transfer phase of my program which focuses on tailoring and evaluating evidence-based e-health interventions to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to optimize their health and wellness. My research activities focus on: 1) maternal and paternal mental health during the transition to parenthood - identifying predictors and developing e-health psychoeducational interventions; 2) delineating the role of behavioural and psychosocial variables on health outcomes and quality of life in patients with chronic conditions; and 3) developing and testing gender-tailored tools to help individuals initiate and sustain healthy lifestyle behaviours over the lifespan.

Selected Publications

Click on Pubmed to see my current publications list

  • Da Costa D, Ireland K. Perceived benefits and barriers to leisure-time physical activity during pregnancy in previously inactive and active women. Women Health 2013;53(2):185-202. PMID: 23517515.

  • Verreault N, Da Costa D, Marchand A, Ireland K, Banack H, Drista M, Khalifé S. PTSD following childbirth: A prospective study of incidence and risk factors in Canadian women. Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2012 October 73 (4) 257-63. PMID: 22980529.

  • Da Costa D, Zummer M, Fitzcharles M-A. Biopsychosocial Determinants of Physical and Mental Fatigue in Patients with Spondyloarthropathy. Rheumatology International. 2011;31(4):473-80. PMID: 20091037.

  • Da Costa D, Lowensteyn I, Abrahamowicz M, Ionescu-Ittu R, Dritsa M, Rippen N, Cervantes P, Khalifé S. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Exercise to Alleviate Postpartum Depressed Mood. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2009; 30(3): 191-200. PMID: 19728220.

  • Dritsa M, Dupuis G, Lowensteyn I, Da Costa, D. Effects of supervised home-based exercise on fatigue in postpartum depressed women: Who is more likely to benefit and why? Journal of Psychosomatic Research 2009;67(2):159-63. PMID: 19616143.