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Mental Health Clinical Research Unit (CRU), Department of Psychological Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch

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

The Mental Health Clinical Research Unit (CRU) is located in the University of Otago, Christchurch Department of Psychological Medicine at Terrace House. It is a joint unit of the University department and the Specialist Mental Health Division of the Canterbury District Health Board.

Staff working on Mental Health Clinical Research Unit (CRU) projects include consultant psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatric and research nurses.

Current studies

Mood Disorders

Our current studies are investigating psychotherapies for mood disorder

  • Interpersonal social rhythms therapy for people with bipolar disorder (still recruiting)
  • Cognitive remediation in those with recurrent mood disorders (still recruiting)
  • Behavioural and cognitive activation in inpatients with depression

Earthquake-trauma research

These studies involve psychotherapies for PTSE and fMri examination

  • An fMri study of those with earthquake related PTSE (still recruiting)
  • Metacognitive therapy vs Cognitive Behaviour therapy for earthquake related stress (still recruiting)

Past treatment trials and related research

Earthquake-trauma research

We have conducted trials into earthquake trauma

See Our People for publications Caroline Bell Jenny Jordan

Psychotherapies for mood disorders

We have conducted trials into psychotherapies (CBT, schema and metacognitive therapy)

See Our People for publications Richard Porter Marie Crowe Jenny Jordan

Psychotherapies for eating disorders

We have conducted trials into a range of psychotherapies for eating disorders

See Our People for publications Jenny Jordan

Antidepressant medications

  • Desipramine vs Imipramine for depression
  • Fluoxetine vs Nortriptyline for depression

Other research

Mental Health Clinical Research Unit (CRU) staff have research collaborations with CDHB mental health services and with other collaborators locally, nationally and internationally.

Through the University of Otago, Christchurch, our research capacity is assisted by postgraduate students and post-doctoral fellows working on aspects of these projects.

Clinical Research Advisory Group

This group consists of representatives from Specialist Mental Health Services, Te Korowai Atawhai, Family and consumer representatives.

It provides advice to Mental Health Clinical Research Unit (CRU) researchers regarding proposed projects and liaises with stakeholders within the CDHB.

Further information

Tel +64 3 372 6700
Fax +64 3 372 0405
Email clinical.researchunit@cdhb.health.nz