Link-me: A randomised controlled trial of a systematic model of stepped mental health care in general practice

Project Details

The delivery of primary mental health care in Australia is undergoing significant reform. 31 Primary Health Networks (PHNs) have been established across Australia to act as regional service planners and commissioners. A key component of the reform focuses on the challenge of tailoring care to individual needs in a cost-effective way. Ten PHNs had been selected by the Commonwealth Department of Health to act as leaders in mental health reform in the primary care setting and have been allocated specific priority areas (e.g. youth mental health, suicide prevention, severe and complex). Three of the PHNs were selected and funded to collaborate with The University of Melbourne and the Commonwealth Department of Health on Link-me - a large-scale trial of a new approach to stepped health care in general practice, particularly focused on delivering care to those with complex needs.

The Link-me Trial tested whether a purpose-built Decision Support Tool (DST) to systematically identify and provide tailored treatment recommendations to those with low and high levels of mental health needs led to clinically and cost effective benefits relative to usual care.


Key reports

General practice and participant community report 2021
Professor Jane Gunn, Associate Professor Matthew Spittal and Dr Mary Lou Chatterton present the Link-me Trial Results to the three collaborating PHNs

Watch the webinar presentation

A full report of the findings have been published in The Lancet Psychiatry:

Fletcher S, Spittal MJ, Chondros P, Palmer VJ, Chatterton ML, Densley K, Potiriadis M, Harris M, Bassilios B, Burgess P, Mihalopoulos C, Pirkis J, Gunn J. Clinical efficacy of a Decision Support Tool (Link-me) to guide intensity of mental health care in primary practice: a pragmatic stratified randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 8. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30517-4

Researchers

Professor Jane Gunn (Lead Investigator) Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

Professor Jane Pirkis (Lead Investigator) Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (University of Melbourne)

Dr Susan Fletcher (Investigator) Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

Dr Bridget Bassilios (Investigator) Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (University of Melbourne)

Professor Meredith Harris, (Investigator) Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, School of Public Health (University of Queensland)

Professor Cathrine Mihalopoulos (Investigator) Deakin Health Economics (Deakin University)

Professor Philip Burgess (Investigator) School of Public Health (University of Queensland)

Associate Professor Victoria Palmer (Investigator) Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

Associate Professor Matthew Spittal (Investigator) Melbourne School of Population and Global Health (University of Melbourne)

Ms Maria Potiriadis (National Trial Coordinator) Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

A/Prof Patty Chondros (Biostatistician) Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

Ms Konstancja Densley (Data Manager) Department of General Practice (University of Melbourne)

Collaborators

North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network

Brisbane North Primary Health Network

North Coast Primary Health Network

Funding

This research is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health as part of  the Primary Health Network Mental Health Reform Lead Site Project

Research Outcomes

Fletcher S, Spittal MJ, Chondros P, Palmer VJ, Chatterton ML, Densley K, Potiriadis M, Harris M, Bassilios B, Burgess P, Mihalopoulos C, Pirkis J, Gunn J. Clinical efficacy of a Decision Support Tool (Link-me) to guide intensity of mental health care in primary practice: a pragmatic stratified randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2021 Feb 8. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30517-4

Fletcher S, Chondros P, Palmer VJ, Chatterton ML, Spittal MJ, Mihalopoulos C, Wood A, Harris M, Burgess P, Bassilios B, Pirkis J, Gunn J. Link-me: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial of a systematic approach to stepped mental health care in primary care. Contemporary clinical trials. 2019 Mar 1;78:63-75.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cct.2018.12.014

Research Group



Faculty Research Themes

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice

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