Skye Barbic

Prospective Graduate Students / Postdocs

This faculty member is currently not actively recruiting graduate students or Postdoctoral Fellows, but might consider co-supervision together with another faculty member.

Associate Professor

Research Interests

community integration
health and well-being
Implementation Science
Individual Placement Support
Mental Health and Society
mental health
Occupational therapy
Patient Engagement
Rasch Measurement Theory
Supported Employment

Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs

Affiliations to Research Centres, Institutes & Clusters


Research Methodology

Rasch Measurement Theory
Mixed methods

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision

Dissertations completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest dissertations.

Caring for individuals with concurrent mental health and opioid use disorder : a mixed-methods study with implications for health research, policy and practice (2022)

Background: The co-occurrence of opioid use disorder (OUD) and mental illness is common and may lead to poor negative health and social outcomes, as compared with having either illness alone. The body of evidence pertaining to best practices in person-centred care for those with concurrent OUD and mental illness remains in its infancy. The objective of this project is to generate evidence to guide improvements in the provision of concurrent OUD and mental health care for this population.Methods: This mixed-methods project begins with a rapid review which assesses the current landscape of health-related measurement for this population and provides recommendations for empirical work. For the empirical work, first, data were derived from two longstanding prospective cohort studies of people who use unregulated drugs. The impact of various factors on receipt of concurrent OUD and mental health care from a single provider were examined using generalized estimating equations. Second, guided by an interpretive descriptive methodology, data were collected via semi-structured interviews with physicians and persons with lived experience (PWLE). Findings were derived in a series of iterative steps including thematic analysis, as well as theme interrogation, and reflection on plausible associations or affiliations. Results: This project highlighted key concerns with current health-related measurement practices and identified strategies to improve the quality of and opportunities for health-related measurement among this population. It identified factors which may delay or inhibit receipt of concurrent OUD and mental health care from a single provider including daily non-injection opioid use and experience of a non-fatal overdose. It then drew attention to various concerns with the present quality of care currently being provided to individuals with a concurrent OUD and mental illness. This thesis also identified strategies that may ensure the provision of high quality, evidence-informed care for this population. Conclusion: Amidst North America’s worsening overdose crisis, a coronavirus pandemic, and an era where mental health has been increasingly threatened, findings from this project offer critical insights to help guide future research, policy, and practice decisions in an optimal way to support improvements in outcomes of persons living with concurrent OUD and mental illness.

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Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Examining mental health disparities among transgender and/or gender nonconforming young people: a mixed-methods approach (2020)

Introduction: Transgender and gender nonconforming (TGNC) young people are vulnerable to a range of negative health outcomes (Reisner, Vetters, et al., 2015; Rider et al, 2018). Additionally, our health systems are recognized as contributing to gendered health inequities (Payne, 2009). It is important that we understand the health outcomes and needs of TGNC young people, if we are to ensure delivery of effective integrated youth mental health services to this vulnerable population. Objectives: The study compared rates of mental health distress between TGNC and cisgender youth and sought to understand how TGNC youth experience mental health services. Methods: Adopting an intersectional framework, I used a mixed-methods, sequential explanatory approach. I conducted a secondary analysis of data of youth accessing a network of BC community health centers. I analyzed the difference in rates of mental health distress between TGNC and cisgender youth using a two-sample t-test. Next, I used stratified simple linear regression to test the association of race with TGNC identity and mental health distress. Finally, I conducted interviews with a purposive sample of TGNC young people to understand their experiences using mental health services. Qualitative data were analysed using qualitative description with overtones of constructivist grounded theory. Results: The quantitative sample (n=727) had a mean age of 21 years (SD=2), 48% were non-white, 51% were white and 77% were from Metro Vancouver. Compared to cisgender youth, TGNC youth reported significantly higher levels of mental health distress. TGNC youth were more distressed than cisgender youth across both race strata but non-white TGNC youth were not more distressed than white TGNC youth. From the qualitative sample (n=5), TGNC participants revealed themes of upsetting interactions with health providers, barriers and facilitators to services, and their experiences of the gender binary as a form of tyranny. They provided simple, practical advice on how to better support and affirm TGNC young people accessing care. Conclusions: The findings from this study emphasize the need for increased education and understanding of TGNC concepts and health concerns as well as on promoting intersectoral collaboration of social service organizations beyond simply health care.

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News Releases

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