Online Non-medication Treatments for Depressed Mood in People with
Chronic Pain
A Research Study

Who we are

We are researchers at the Sinai Health System and the University of Toronto. We are conducting a study to explore alternative treatments for depression and pain in adults.

What our study is about

This study will investigate two  online training programs – the Health Enhancement Programand Sahaj Samadhi Meditation – that may help in improving mood among those with depression.


Who we are looking for

We are looking for people to participate in this study who:

  • have lived with chronic pain for 3 or more months;

  • feel they may have depression or have been diagnosed with depression;

  • are able to sit for 20-25 minutes without significant discomfort; and

  • are willing and able to attend all training sessions through video calls and most of the follow-up sessions of the program.

What you will gain

Free training in one of two self-directed programs that may help with depression and chronic pain symptoms.


The treatment programs

Joining the study would involve being randomly assigned to one of the two online training programs. There is a 50/50 chance of being enrolled in either program.


Both programs will be conducted in small groups of 10-15 people, and daily home practice instructions will be provided.

Health Enhancement Program

Sahaj Samadhi Meditation

This program will teach you about health promotion, healthy diet, and exercise. Support will be provided in a group and by a facilitator to help make positive life changes.  

This program will be delivered by certified meditation teachers and teach you about the nature of meditation and provide personal guided meditation, including methods for meditating at home.


Participation requires attending:

  • FOUR, 2-hour training sessions in the first week of the study; and

  • 75-minute follow-up training sessions once a week for 11 straight weeks


You will also be asked to attend TWO 1-hour appointments, one right after you finish the 12-week program, and another 24 weeks (6 months) after the start of the study.


This study does not require you to change any other part of your health care such as starting a new medication

Will this affect my care?

No. Your decision to participate in this research study or not will have no impact on the care you receive at your health clinic.


Your doctor will not know that you are enrolled in this study unless you choose to tell them.  

What is required

This study will take place online through video calls at various times throughout the week. 


What we will do with the information we collect

All information collected from you will be kept confidential and stored securely. We will assign a unique ID number to you, and will use this number on all data collection forms. This means that information you give us will be kept confidential and no one will be able to identify you.

Findings from this study

Will help several large mental health and family medicine organizations understand how non-medication treatments might help their clients. Results from this study will also be used to further the field of research, and help support development of health policy.

Participating Researchers

Co-Principal Investigators:
Dr. Ross Upshur, MA MD MSc
Dr. Abhimanyu Sud, MD CCFP
Dr. Michelle Nelson, PhD

Dr. Robert Simpson, PhD, MBChB

Dr. Joel Katz, PhD, CPsych

Dr. Rahim Moineddin, PhD

Dr. Benoit Mulsant, MD MS FRCPC

Dr. Ashkya Vasudev, MBBS MRCPsych
Dr. Deanna Telner, MD MEd CCFP FCFP

Research Coordinators:

Alana Armas, MSc

Darren Cheng, MSc


Dr. Michelle Greiver, MD MSc CCFP

Andrew Galley, MSc

Ronnie Newman, MEd

Dr. Leon Rivlin, MD CCFP(EM)  

This study is funded by The Canadian Institute of Health Research, Project Operating Grant: Evaluation of Interventions to Address the Opioid Crisis: non-pharmacological interventions for pain   



If you are interested in potentially participating in our study, please complete the pre-screening survey:

For more information, please email us at

Please note that email messages are not encrypted on the hospital email system and the security of the messages that you send or receive cannot be guaranteed.
Email should not be used to discuss information you think is sensitive. 

By providing your email address, or sending an email, you acknowledge that you accept this.