COVID-19 and Mental Health (CMH) Initiative: Research

Digital Health Solutions to Support Women with Addiction During COVID-19: Applying a Gender- and Trauma-Informed Lens

Key Messages

  • Digital health resources for addiction range from mobile applications, web-based screening and brief interventions, and web-based multimedia and multi-module platforms.
  • Overall, empirical investigations including adults who identified as female or women generally revealed positive effects. Mobile and web-based platforms demonstrated therapeutic benefits more consistently than brief interventions.
  • Empirical evaluations rarely assess gender identity or conduct sex- or gender-based analyses; evidence specifically for females or women is therefore weak.
  • Interim resource ratings suggested many resources provide sex or gender specific information, and support empowerment; however, most other principles of gender-informed care are not evident. Most resources upheld several principles of trauma informed care (e.g., strengths-based care); however, others were less represented.


  • Addiction
  • Substance misuse
  • Substance use disorder
  • Women
  • Female
  • Trauma
  • Abuse
  • Digital health
  • Web-based treatment
  • eHealth


  • Nominated Principal Applicant: Lena C. Quilty, PhD, CPsych; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
  • Branka Agic, PhD, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Leslie Buckley, MD, FRCPC, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Michelle Coombs, PhD, Jean Tweed Centre
  • Betty-Lou Kristy, Centre for Innovation in Peer Support
  • Jill Shakespeare, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Adrienne Spafford, Addictions Mental Health Ontario

For more information, please contact: Lena C. Quilty,

Related Syntheses


(External links)

Full PDF

Lay Summary PDF


Vulnerable or At-Risk Populations, People Who Use Drugs (PWUD) and Substance Use


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