Dr. J Don Richardson

Dr. Don Richardson
Full Name
Dr. J Don Richardson
Degrees and Qualifications


Contact Information

Research Overview
  • Advanced Analytics to Understand Military Related PTSD: Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and veterans are at risk of developing PTSD and other mental health conditions resulting from trauma exposure during their military service. The proposed study utilizes natural language processing (NLP) to identify key features related to 1) suicide attempts and 2) moral injury using unstructured data. Additionally, we propose using IBM SPSS Modeler or other technology available through IBM via Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovative Platform (SOSCIP) to: 1) identify patterns of comorbidity; and 2) predict treatment trajectories amongst a cohort of treatment-seeking CAF members and veterans.
  • Develop algorithms that can be utilized in the screening of CAF members and veterans for PTSD, MDD, and suicidal ideation (SI): Research indicates that military personnel are at increased risk of developing PTSD, major depressive disorder, and suicidal ideation as a result of events experienced during their military service. The proposed study utilizes machine learning to develop assistive diagnostic algorithms to aid in the early identification of PTSD and MDD among CAF members and veterans.
  • Statistics Canada Canadian Armed Forces Longitudinal Health Survey: In 2018, a follow-up assessment was completed of the large, representative sample of individuals who, 13 year earlier (2002), were employed by CAF and, at that time, participated in the Canadian Forces Supplement of the 1st Canadian Survey of Mental Health & Wellbeing. The plan is to investigate the incidence of new mental health (MH) problems and the persistence of the MH problems identified in 2002. The research will focus determining the incidence rate of new-onset MH problems during the 13 years since 2002 and identify characteristics associated with risk factors and protective factors to developing a new-onset MH outcome.
  • Statistics Canada 2013 CAF Mental Health Survey: The 2013 CAF Mental Health Survey is a nationally representative sample of 8180 active CAF members. Using this nationally representative sample the plan is to examine the association between Psychiatric Illness, sleep disturbances and Suicidal Ideation in order to increase our understanding of military-specific factors that are associated with the development of PTSD among CF members who are deployed on combat missions.
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Comorbidity in Treatment Seeking CAF Members and Veterans: The objective of the current study is to retroactively use information provided by former and current CF members presenting to Parkwood Hospital’s Operational Stress Injury Clinic for treatment in order to investigate (1) The relationship between events experienced during deployment and suicidal ideation (i.e., to determine whether certain combat experiences are more related to suicidal ideation than others), (2) The relationship between PTSD symptom clusters and health-related quality of life (i.e., to determine whether certain PTSD symptom clusters have a greater impact on wellbeing), and (3) The relationship between PTSD and comorbid disorders .
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Comorbidity in Canadian Veterans Patients attending the Parkwood Operational Stress Injury Clinic complete a standardized assessment and treatment protocol. The standardized questionnaires at intake include PHQ-9 and GAD-7 for depression and anxiety, the PHQ-15 for somatic symptoms, the Alcohol Use Identification Test (AUDIT) for alcohol use, the PCL-M and PCL-5 for PTSD, the Deployment Experience Questionnaire, and the SF-36 to assess health-related quality-of-life. Prior to being seen for follow-up care, patients complete the PHQ-9, GAD-7, the PCL-5 and the OQ 45. Using a retrospective chart review design, the plan is to examining PTSD and comorbidity as well as examining predictors treatment outcome, including recovery.


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Dr. Richardson is consultant psychiatrist and Medical Director of the Parkwood Operational Stress Injury (OSI) Clinic in London, Ontario. He is also the Scientific Director of the MacDonald Franklin OSI research Centre at the Parkwood Institute and a fellow with the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran Health. He has a Social Work degree from McGill University and completed his medical degree at Queen’s University and his fellowship in psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. He has more than 25 years of experience in the assessment and treatment of Veterans and Canadian forces members with PTSD and other operational stress injuries. Dr. Richardson has more than 50 published articles and book chapters in the area of Military and Veteran Mental Health including risk factors for PTSD and suicidal ideation, sleep disturbances, health care utilization, treatment outcomes and the impact of PTSD on quality-of-life.