Mental Health Research Focus
To create an environment built on positive values and continuous learning that can nurture a team of researchers and practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary build a program of mental health research excellence based on innovative and cutting edge methods to:
- Embed best practice depression care into routine primary care;
- Improve health outcomes for people with depression by developing and testing novel, tailored, comprehensive care pathways that will lead to the redesign of primary care to improve depression detection, management and relapse prevention;
- Develop an innovative continuous quality improvement system that evaluates the cost-effectiveness of primary care depression management via longitudinal and routinely collected data;
- Develop a novel forum for linkage and exchange with practitioners, policy makers and consumers which will serve as a model for other implementation research groups; and
- Foster a model for excellence in mixed methods trans-disciplinary implementation research.
Our research adopts a mixed-method participatory approach to system redesign to improve mental health services in primary care. We continue to build national and international collaborations to strengthen our network and improve access to the necessary skills and knowledge needed to achieve our goals. Our research areas (current and for development) include;
- Adult depression in primary care;
- Identification and interventions for depression and related disorders;
- Psychological interventions for primary care; and
- Understanding the consumer experience of care.
- Course, risk factors, prognosis, and health services use
- Practitioner-patient relationship
- Equity of mental health services
In line with our expertise the domains of our current research include; predictors of recovery and persistence, patient experience of care, building and testing interventions relevant to depression, and monitoring depression outcomes.
We are continuing and building areas of research including;
- Definitional issues – use of DSM categories in general practice
- Primary care based depression care (exploring the role of GPs, practice nurses, specialist mental health and their integration, describing usual care and new models of care, and developing principles for depression management in primary care). Continuation of the generalism work.
- Outcome measures for depression care in general practice
- Practitioner uptake of evidence in treatment of depression
- Medicalisation of depression
- Lay experiences of illness (depression; depression and multi-morbidity; depression, multi-morbidity and self care/help)
- Developing prediction and prognosis tools for persistent/disabling depression for genetic and non-genetic (environmental/psychosocial) factors.
- Building interventions as we have completed the foundational work to ready us for intervention research. We have developed a conceptual framework for exemplary depression care. Along with our work on prognosis we are well situated to commence intervention research based on a solid foundation of local research findings.
- Complex patients with a focus on multimorbidity