Integrated Mental Health

Research Overview

The Integrated Mental Health Research Program aims to optimise person-centred mental health that enhances physical and mental well-being. Mentored and established by internationally recognised academic GP, Professor Jane Gunn, the research spans over 15 years of primary care led depression research focusing on 4 main areas as shown in the figure below. Comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers, this leading program has engaged more than 500 general practitioners and 10,000 consumers and carers in clinical and health services research.

The Program is part of a vibrant culture of collaboration and exchange through the Department’s Visiting Academic program that hosts visitors from around Australia and internationally from Europe, the UK and North America. In recent years the Program has hosted and mentored a number of international postdoctoral research fellows including:

  • Dr Markus Haun (2016) Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany;
  • Dr Christine Ladegaard Geyti (2016) University of Aarhus, Denmark;
  • Dr Caroline Wachtler (2014-2015) Karolinska Institute, Sweden;
  • Dr Marjorie Johnston (2014) University of Aberdeen, Scotland;
  • Dr Lauralie Richards (2013-2015) University of Montreal, Canada;
  • Dr Gilles Ambresin, (2011-2013) University of Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • Dr Jennifer Terpstra, (2011) University of British Columbia, Canada.

Staff

Associate Professor Victoria Palmer - Head of Research Program

Professor Jane Gunn - Program Mentor

Dr Susie Fletcher - Research Fellow

Dr Matthew Lewis - Research Fellow

Dr Elsa Barton - Research Fellow

Dr Patty Chondros - Biostatistician

Ms Maria Potiriadis - Trial Coordinator

Ms Roxanne Kritharidis - Project Officer

Ms Konstancja Densley - Data Manager

Ms Christine Hallinan - Research Fellow

Dr Caroline Johnson - Research Fellow

Ms Emily Knights - Research Nurse

Students

Ms Amy Coe - PhD Candidate

Ms Kali Godbee - PhD Candidate

Dr Robert Henning - PhD Candidate

Mr Christo Karuna - PhD Candidate

Ms Kylie McKenzie - PhD Candidate

Collaborators

Australian Collaborations

  • University of Newcastle
  • Deakin University
  • University of Queensland
  • University of New South Wales
  • Orygen
  • Lifeline
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Black Dog
  • Tandem - representing Victorian mental health carers
  • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
  • Australian Taxi Industry Association

International Collaborations

  • Kent State University
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Liverpool
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Lausanne
  • Karolinska Institute
  • McGill University
  • The Hearth Centre

Funding

  • National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Commonwealth Department of Health
  • Mental Illness Research Fund and the Psychiatric Illness an Intellectual Disability Donations Trust Fund
  • Melbourne Networked Society Institute (MNSI)
  • Melbourne Social Equity Institute
  • Shepherd Foundation
  • Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd (TGL)/RACGP

Research Outcomes

Fletcher S, Chondros P, Palmer VJ, Chatterton ML, Spittal MJ, Mihalopoulos C, et al. (2019). Link-me: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a systematic approach to stepped mental health care in primary care. Contemporary Clinical Trials 78: 63-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2018.12.014

Fletcher S, Clarke J, Sanatkar S, Baldwin P, Gunn J, Zwar N, et al. (2019). Recruiting to a randomised controlled trial of an online program for people with type 2 diabetes and depression: Lessons learned at the intersection of e-mental health and primary care. Journal of Medical and Internet Research 21: e12793. https://doi.org/10.2196/12793

Clarke J, Sanatkar S, Baldwin P, Fletcher S, Gunn J, Wilhelm K, et al. (2019). A web-based public health intervention to reduce functional impairment and depressive symptoms in adults with type 2 diabetes (the SpringboarD Trial): Results of a randomised controlled trial. Journal of Medical and Internet Research 21: E12246. https://doi.org/10.2196/12246

Palmer, Lewis M, Stylianopolous V, Furler J (2018). Primary care prevention of the cardiovascular health crisis for people with severe mental illness: the elephant in the room. The Australian Journal of General Practice. https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2018/december/primary-care-prevention-of-the-cardiovascular-heal

Palmer V, Weavell W, Callander R, Piper D, Richard L, Maher L, Boyd H, Herrman H, Furler J, Gunn J, Iedema R, Robert, G (2018). The Participatory Zeitgeist: An explanatory theoretical model of change in an era of coproduction and codesign in healthcare improvement. BMJ Medical Humanities. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/medhum-2017-011398

Pung A, Fletcher SL, Gunn JM. (2018). Mobile app use by primary care patients to manage their depressive symptoms: Qualitative study. J Med Internet Res; 20: e10035.  https://doi.org/10.2196/10035

Chondros P, Davidson S, Wolfe R, Gilchrist G, Dowrick C, Griffiths F, Hegarty K, Herrman H, Gunn J (2018). Development of a prognostic model for predicting depression severity in adult primary care patients with depressive symptoms using the diamond longitudinal study. Journal of Affective Disorders 227: 854-860. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2017.11.042

Wachtler C, Coe A, Davidson S, Fletcher S, Mendoza A, Sterling L, Gunn J (2018). Development of a mobile clinical prediction tool to estimate future depression severity and guide treatment in primary care: User-centered design. Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth & uHealth 20(4): e95 http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/mhealth.9502

Gunn J, Cameron J, Densley K, Davidson S, Fletcher S, Palmer V, Chondros P, Dowrick C, Pirkis J (2018). Uptake of mental health websites in primary care: Insights from an Australian longitudinal cohort study of depression. Patient Education and Counselling 101(1): 105-112  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2017.07.008

Davidson S, Wadley G, Reavley N, Gunn J, Fletcher S (2017). Psychological distress and unmet mental health needs among urban taxi drivers: A cross-sectional survey. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 52(5): 473-482. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0004867417741556

Richard L, Piper D, Weavell W, Callander R, Iedema R, Furler J, Pierce D, Godbee K, Gunn J, Palmer V (2017). Advancing engagement methods for trials: The CORE study relational model of engagement for a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial of experience-based co-design for people living with severe mental illnesses. Trials 18(1): 169. http://10.1186/s13063-017-1878-7

Gunn J, Wachtler C, Fletcher S, Davidson S, Mihalopoulos C, Palmer V, Hegarty K, Coe A, Murray E, Dowrick C (2017).Target-D: A stratified individually randomized controlled trial of the diamond clinical prediction tool to triage and target treatment for depressive symptoms in general practice: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 18(1): 342. DOI: 10.1186/s13063-017-2089-y

Ambresin G, Palmer V, Densley K, Dowrick  C, Gilchrist G, Gunn J (2015). What factors influence long-term antidepressant use in primary care? Findings from the Australian diamond cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorders 176(0): 125-132. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2015.01.055

Gunn J, Elliott P, Densley K, Middleton A, Ambresin G, Dowrick C, Hegarty K, Herrman H, Gilchrist G, Griffiths F (2013). A trajectory-based approach to understand the factors associated with persistent depressive symptoms in primary care. Journal of Affective Disorders 148(2–3): 338-346. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2012.12.021

Gunn J, Ayton D, Densley K, Pallant J, Chondros P, Herrman H, Dowrick C (2012). The association between chronic illness, multimorbidity and depressive symptoms in an Australian primary care cohort. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 47: 175-184. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-010-0330-z

Gunn J, Palmer V, Dowrick C, Herrman H, Griffiths F, Kokanovic R, Blashki G, Hegarty K, Johnson C, Potiriadis M, May C. (2010). Embedding effective depression care: Using theory for primary care organisational and systems change. Implement Science 5: 62-76. https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-5-62

Gunn J, Gilchrist G, Chondros P, Ramp M, Hegarty K, Blashki G, Pond D, Kyrios M, Herrman H. (2008). Who is identified when screening for depression is undertaken in general practice? Baseline findings from the Diagnosis, Management and Outcomes of Depression in Primary Care (diamond) longitudinal study. Medical  Journal of Australia 188(12 Suppl): S119-125. https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2008/188/12/who-identified-when-screening-depression-undertaken-general-practice-baseline