Current research projects

The BAN-Dep trial

BAN-Dep logo

Depressive symptoms are common among people living in residential aged care facilities, and clinically significant symptoms may affect about 50% of residents. However, depressive symptoms can be easily missed, and treatment often fails to incorporate safe non-pharmacological interventions. There is good evidence that training for staff can enhance cognition and approaches to treatment.

The BAN-Dep trial aims to reduce depression in residents by training the staff working in aged care facilities in how to identify and manage depressive symptoms, and in how to deliver a simple behavioural therapy called Behavioural Activation. The study has also been modified so that it can be delivered remotely, opening up the possibility for rural and remote facilities to participate as well.

If you are interested in your facility taking part, email BAN-DepTrial@unimelb.edu.au.

The EXCEL study

EXCEL study logo

Physical activity (PA) is recommended for middle and older aged people, as it supports the health of the body and the brain. The EXCEL study is piloting a personalised 12-week home-based physical activity intervention and investigating whether it can help middle aged and older people who experience memory and concerns and trouble with low mood, anxiety or stress to meet physical activity guidelines.

In Part 1 of the study, we explored the ideas and opinions of middle to older aged adults on physical activity for brain health. The information gathered from this part of the study has informed development of the physical activity program (Part 2). Part 1 of the EXCEL study is now closed and the next stage of the study is currently in development. Further information will be posted here at a later date.

LEAD! - GP perspectives on risk tools

We are currently looking for GPs to participate in the LEAD! (Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia) project, which is exploring clinicians’ perceptions about preventative medicine, using risk assessments, and a proposed risk assessment questionnaire to assess a patient’s risk for multiple conditions (including dementia, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease).

The study involves a 15-20-minute interview with one of our clinician researchers over a Zoom video or phone call, and you will be given a gift voucher to thank you for your time. We hope that these interviews will help our team to develop a risk assessment questionnaire that is usable and relevant in clinical practice. If you would like more information, please email rhoda.lai@unimelb.edu.au.

RECOVER-D

RECOVER-D will be testing a holistic program for recovery from symptoms of low mood or depression which combines the use of an antidepressant and a psychosocial skills training program. The study is looking to improve thinking, emotional and social skills for real world outcomes of recovery from depression. The program will run for eight weeks at the Royal Melbourne Hospital City Campus.

This study is not yet open for recruitment, but further information will be posted here at a later date.