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  • Principal Investigator: Katrina Turner
  • 1 April 2014 to 30 June 2015
  • Project No: 207
  • Funding round: FR 8
  • Mental health

Depression is a common illness, treated mainly in primary care. Treatment options exist but treatment adherence is often poor and some patients remain depressed despite receiving care. Researchers have explored patients’ views and experiences of treatments but we know very little about what care these patients usually receive. In addition, when reporting findings, researchers have tended to detail patients’ views of specific, single treatments, even though patients may receive more than one treatment at the same time or sequentially. Thus, we do not know whether there are differences or similarities in how patients view different treatments and relate to different practitioners, for example, GPs and therapists, and whether they see different treatments working together or independently. We also do not know whether different groups of patients (for example individuals with postnatal depression and individuals with chronic, long term depression) feel they have particular treatment needs. Addressing these gaps in knowledge would enable us to consider how care could be improved. Thus, the aim of our study is to define what usual care normally entails for patients with depression, to assess how patients view different treatments and practitioners, and to establish whether specific groups of patients have particular treatment needs.

We will re-analyse data collected during five different studies, all of which entailed holding in-depth interviews with primary care patients with depression in order to explore their views and experiences of being treated. Patients interviewed include individuals with antenatal depression, postnatal depression, and depression which had not responded to medication. By bringing together data from each of these five studies, and re-analysing the material in order to detail patients’ views and experiences, and to assess whether these vary between different patient groups with depression, we will address the aims of our research.

The research team includes individuals with expertise in qualitative methods, including re-analysis of multiple data sets, and mental health research. The project provides excellent value for money, as it will address important research questions using pre-existing data. Findings will be published in medical journals and presented at primary care conferences.

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.

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