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Research at the Department of Psychological Medicine

Te Tari Whakaora Hinengaro Tangata – Rangahau

The Department of Psychological Medicine is New Zealand’s largest and most influential centre for mental health research.

Our clinically-relevant research improves mental health in New Zealand and around the world. We are proud of our focus on translating research into clinical practice, and of our international reputation.

All of our academic staff are in current clinical practice. Our research is therefore informed by our deep understanding of the complexities of contemporary clinical practice.

We have a strong research output, particularly in the areas of mood disorders, addictions, and trauma.

Our Clinical Research Unit (Mental Health) has an established platform of research projects related to improving treatments and outcomes for those with serious mental health disorders.
Visit the Mental Health Clinical Research Unit

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Current and ongoing projects

Christchurch Health and Development Study

The Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS) has followed the health, education, and life progress of a group of 1,265 children born in the Christchurch (New Zealand) urban region in mid-1977.

A family intervention for mood disorders

  • Project funded by the Gamma Foundation
  • Investigators: Maree Inder, Dave Carlyle, Marie Crowe, Richard Porter

First-episode psychosis in Māori

  • Project grant funded by Rangahau Hauora Māori (Health Research Council)
  • Investigators: Cameron Lacey, Suzanne Pitama, Ruth Cunnigham, James Stanley, Sue Crengle, Richard Porter, Marie Crowe

Inpatient activation therapy for depression

  • Project grant funded by Health Research Council
  • Investigators: Richard Porter, Katie Douglas, Marie Crowe, Jenny Jordan

Intensive rhythm therapy for treatment-resistant bipolar disorder

  • Feasibility grant funded by Health Research Council
  • Investigators: Richard Porter, Marie Crowe, Katie Douglas, Maree Inder

Māori and bipolar disorder

  • Project grant funded by Rangahau Hauora Māori (Health Research Council)
  • Investigators: Cameron Lacey, Suzanne Pitama, Ruth Cunnigham, James Stanley, Jo Baxter, Sue Crengle, Roger Mulder, Richard Porter, Marie Crowe

The March 15 Study: Impacts and Recovery

  • Funded by a grant from the Health Research Council of New Zealand
  • Investigators: Associate Professor Caroline Bell, Dr Ruqayya Sulaiman-Hill, Professor Richard Porter, Dr Ben Beaglehole, Professor Joseph Boden, and Dr Shaystah Dean

Patients’ experiences of the functional effects of mood disorders

  • Project funded by New Zealand Lotteries
  • Investigators: Marie Crowe, Katie Douglas, Maree Inder, Hayley Wells

Psychotherapy and cognitive enhancement for depressive disorders

  • Hercus Fellowship funded by Health Research Council
  • Investigators: Katie Douglas, Richard Porter, Marie Crowe

Transdiagnostic group cognitive behavioural therapy for depression and anxiety in primary care

  • Feasibility grant funded by Health Research Council
  • Investigators: Caroline Bell, Richard Porter, Jenny Jordan

Translating social rhythm therapy into community mental health services

  • Feasibility grant funded by Health Research Council
  • Investigators: Richard Porter, Marie Crowe, Maree Inder

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Current research activities

Addiction and co-existing disorders

  • Professor Doug Sellman
  • Associate Professor Simon Adamson
  • Dr James Foulds

Anxiety disorders and treatment

  • Associate Professor Caroline Bell
  • Dr Ben Beaglehole
  • Dr Jenny Jordan

Eating disorders

  • Professor Lois Surgenor
  • Dr Jenny Jordan

Family interventions in mood disorders

  • Dr Maree Inder
  • Dr Dave Carlyle

Improving functioning in mood disorders

  • Professor Marie Crowe
  • Professor Richard Porter
  • Dr Katie Douglas
  • Dr Maree Inder

Māori mental health

  • Dr Cameron Lacey

Neurocognitive interventions for mood disorders

  • Professor Richard Porter
  • Dr Katie Douglas

Personality disorders and treatment

  • Professor Roger Mulder
  • Dr Dave Carlyle

Psychological adaptation to medical illness

  • Professor Lois Surgenor

Psychological consequences of disasters and trauma

  • Dr Caroline Bell
  • Dr Ben Beaglehole
  • Professor Richard Porter

Psychotherapy for mood disorders

  • Professor Marie Crowe
  • Dr Jenny Jordan
  • Dr Maree Inder

The experience of and recovery from psychiatric disorders

  • Professor Marie Crowe
  • Dr Dave Carlyle

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Projects in development

  • Tele-interpersonal and social rhythm therapy for mood disorders
  • Psychological effects of the March 15 mosque attacks
  • Role of cytokines in bipolar disorder

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