Current research projects

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).

We are currently recruiting participants for EXCEL Part 2. Please visit the study website for more information.


The AUPOA is running a number of studies within the wider LEAD! (Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia) project, which aims to develop a risk assessment questionnaire to assess a person’s risk for multiple conditions (including dementia, stroke, diabetes, and heart disease).

We are currently looking for people aged 40-79 living in Australia to complete a survey on your knowledge about and preferences around learning about your risk. More information and the survey link can be found here.


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.

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.

Recruitment has now closed for this trial, but if you have any queries, please email the team at