Event Details

PHO Rounds: Leveraging the COMPASS Study to Examine the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Youth Health Over Time

This session will provide an overview of and key findings from the COMPASS Study.

COMPASS is a prospective cohort study that uses a hierarchical quasi-experimental design to evaluate how programs, policies, and built environments impact youth health behaviours and outcomes (e.g., substance use, mental health, obesity, diet, physical activity, screen time, sleep, bullying). Each year, COMPASS collects longitudinal data from more than 65,000 grade 9-12 students from more than 125 Canadian secondary schools in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec.

By leveraging this prospective youth health data from before, during, and after the COVID-19 lockdown and school closures, researchers established within-individual effects of ongoing pandemic-related changes on youth health. Early findings of COVID-19-related changes among Ontario youth will be discussed.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the key elements of natural experiments and quasi-experimental designs
  2. Summarize key COMPASS study findings related to the impact of early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth health 
  3. Describe the research being conducted as part of the COMPASS study to assess the impact COVID-19 has had on youth health over time

Presenter(s): Dr. Scott Leatherdale and Dr. Karen Patte

Dr. Scott Leatherdale is a Professor and University Research Chair at the University of Waterloo. His work focuses on advancing a systems science approach to primary prevention activities, evaluating complex population-level health interventions across multiple risk factor domains, and creating research infrastructure to facilitate large population-based learning systems in chronic disease prevention. 

Dr. Karen Patte is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Brock University. Her research examines how different contexts and exposures shape mental health trajectories across the lifespan, with the goal to inform more effective preventative practice. She is leading a mixed methods study, leveraging COMPASS prospective data and engaging youth, to explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related measures (focusing on school closures) on the mental health of youth over time.



The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario Rounds are a self-approved group learning activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). In order to receive written documentation for Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits, please check “Yes” beside the question “Do you require CME credits?” on the registration form.

College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) Affiliate Members may count RCPSC credits toward their Mainpro+ credit requirements. All other CFPC members may claim up to 50 Certified credits per cycle for participation in RCPSC MOC Section 1 accredited activities.

PHO Rounds are also approved by the Council of Professional Experience for professional development hours (PDHs) for members of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI).

For more information or for a record of registration for other Continuing Education purposes, please contact events@oahpp.ca


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or events@oahpp.ca.

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Published 4 June 2021