Flora Matheson




Dr. Flora Matheson is a medical sociologist and mental health and addictions specialist. Using a gender lens, she investigates the social determinants of problem gambling and criminal justice involvement.

Dr. Matheson’s work investigating the links between health and criminalization/the justice system have highlighted important risk factors for imprisonment. For example, her research found that young adults (18-28) with traumatic brain injury (TBI) are at increased risk of incarceration and that people experiencing TBI are more likely to incur disciplinary charges.

Dr. Matheson was one of the first researchers in Canada to investigate and measure the strong relationship between problem gambling and homelessness. She and Good Shepherd Ministries co-developed and launched the first gambling-addiction program for people who are homeless.

Recent Publications

  1. Scott, OFT, Bubna, M, Boyko, E, Hunt, C, Kristman, VL, Gargaro, J et al.. Characterizing the profiles of patients with acute concussion versus prolonged post-concussion symptoms in Ontario. Sci Rep. 2023;13 (1):17955. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-44095-6. PubMed PMID:37863954 PubMed Central PMC10589269.
  2. Matheson, FI, McLuhan, A, Croxford, R, Hahmann, T, Ferguson, M, Mejia-Lancheros, C et al.. Health status and health-care utilization among men recently released from a superjail: a matched prospective cohort study. Int J Prison Health. 2023;ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print):. doi: 10.1108/IJPH-01-2023-0004. PubMed PMID:37658480 .
  3. Chum, A, Kim, C, Nielsen, A, Dusing, GJ, O'Campo, P, Matheson, FI et al.. Disparities in Suicide-Related Behaviors Across Sexual Orientations by Gender: A Retrospective Cohort Study Using Linked Health Administrative Data. Am J Psychiatry. 2023;180 (9):660-667. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.20220763. PubMed PMID:37282552 .
  4. Butsang, T, McLuhan, A, Keown, LA, Fung, K, Matheson, FI. Sex differences in pre-incarceration mental illness, substance use, injury and sexually transmitted infections and health service utilization: a longitudinal linkage study of people serving federal sentences in Ontario. Health Justice. 2023;11 (1):19. doi: 10.1186/s40352-023-00218-9. PubMed PMID:37004620 PubMed Central PMC10067244.
  5. Tan, SWY, Mashford-Pringle, A, Butsang, T, Scott, B, Tjong, GB, Flores, J et al.. "These Issues Aren't Separate": The Relationship Among Being Indigenous, Motherhood, and the Criminal Justice System. J Correct Health Care. 2023;29 (2):135-142. doi: 10.1089/jchc.21.09.0101. PubMed PMID:36930850 .
  6. McLuhan, A, Hahmann, T, Mejia-Lancheros, C, Hamilton-Wright, S, Tacchini, G, Matheson, FI et al.. Finding help and hope in a peer-led reentry service hub near a detention centre: A process evaluation. PLoS One. 2023;18 (2):e0281760. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0281760. PubMed PMID:36800339 PubMed Central PMC9937468.
  7. Wiseman-Hakes, C, Magor, T, Bauman, N, Colantonio, A, Matheson, FI. Exploring the Cognitive-Communication Challenges of Adults With Histories of Traumatic Brain Injury and Criminal Justice System Involvement: A Pilot Study. Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2023;32 (2S):941-955. doi: 10.1044/2022_AJSLP-22-00086. PubMed PMID:36599105 .
  8. Woodhall-Melnik, J, Dunn, JR, Dweik, I, Monette, C, Nombro, E, Pappas, J et al.. NB housing study protocol: investigating the relationship between subsidized housing, mental health, physical health and healthcare use in New Brunswick, Canada. BMC Public Health. 2022;22 (1):2448. doi: 10.1186/s12889-022-14923-x. PubMed PMID:36577991 PubMed Central PMC9795752.
  9. Matheson, FI, Dastoori, P, Hahmann, T, Woodhall-Melnik, J, Guilcher, SJT, Hamilton-Wright, S et al.. Prevalence of Problem Gambling Among Women Using Shelter and Drop-in Services. Int J Ment Health Addict. 2022;20 (4):2436-2447. doi: 10.1007/s11469-021-00524-z. PubMed PMID:35966627 PubMed Central PMC9365744.
  10. Matheson, FI, Dastoori, P, Whittingham, L, Calzavara, A, Keown, LA, Durbin, A et al.. Intellectual/developmental disabilities among people incarcerated in federal correctional facilities in Ontario, Canada: Examining prevalence, health and correctional characteristics. J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2022;35 (3):900-909. doi: 10.1111/jar.12995. PubMed PMID:35338547 .
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Affiliations & Other Activities

  • Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Adjunct Scientist, Mental Health and Addictions Program, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
  • Member, iBEST (Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology), Healthcare and Analytics Research Theme, Toronto, Canada
  • Associate Professor, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada