SCOPE for Research: Mental health consumers' priorities for research compared with recent research in Australia

Michelle A. Banfield*, Kathleen M. Griffiths, Helen M. Christensen, Lisa J. Barney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: The aim of this study was to identify consumer priorities for research on depression and bipolar disorder in Australia. Method: Australian consumers with personal experience of depression or bipolar disorder were surveyed online about research priorities for their condition using a questionnaire developed from an earlier qualitative phase of the SCOPE for Research project. Participants were asked to rate the importance of a number of broad research areas, specific research topics, target groups and settings in which to conduct research. These ratings were then compared to the content of relevant Australian research published between 1997 and 2006. Results: Consumers rated research into the management and treatment of depression and bipolar disorder of highest priority. Further, consumers rated those at risk of a mood disorder as the most important target groups for research and prioritized research conducted in health settings such as community mental health services ahead of research in other settings. There was some concordance between consumers' ratings of the broad topic areas and settings in which to conduct research and the amount of published research on these topic areas and settings. However, there was little published research on the highest ranked consumer-rated specific topics and target groups for research. Conclusions: Overall, there were substantial differences between the priorities of consumers and the recent research output, suggesting gaps in the Australian research base on mood disorders. The results of this study should be used to inform future research to ensure that it is guided by the priorities of the ultimate beneficiaries of the research, mental health consumers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1078-1085
    Number of pages8
    JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


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