Heart Foundation Grant – Advancing Cardiac Care with Depression Screening – Dr Phillip Tully

Congratulations to Dr Phillip Tully, NHMRC Translating Research Into Practice (TRIP) Fellow, on being awarded a Vanguard grant from the Heart Foundation.

Patients with cardiovascular disease and comorbid depression are a group traditionally characterised by high healthcare usage, chronic disease morbidity, and premature death. Collaborative care is standard evidence-based practice in the USA and UK for coronary heart disease and heart failure patients with comorbid depression, however, this model of healthcare is uncommon in Australia. Consequently, the pragmatic aspects of implementing collaborative depression care in Australian cardiovascular settings remains largely unknown.

This study is designed as a quality improvement initiative to improve current depression identification practices in coronary heart disease populations, while utilising implementation-science principles to improve the uptake of evidence based collaborative depression care. The study is set across cardiology services in 4 public hospitals in metropolitan Adelaide, and each hospital or cluster crosses over to the intervention in sequential steps determined by randomisation. By increasing the skills and resources required to implement collaborative depression care, it is anticipated that the study will improve clinical care practices for identifying and treating depression in coronary heart disease patients. For patients, the study intervention seeks to improve patient depression symptoms and quality of life.

The study Chief Investigators include Professor John Beltrame (The University of Adelaide and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital), Professor Derek Chew (Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre), and Professor Alex Brown (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and The University of Adelaide). Associate investigators and collaborators include Professor Gary Wittert, Professor Deborah Turnbull, and Associate Professor Andrew Vincent (Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health, The University of Adelaide), Associate Professor Billingsley Kaambwa and Professor Robyn Clark (Flinders University), Dr. Rosanna Tavella (The Queen Elizabeth Hospital), and Associate Professor Carolyn Astley (SAHMRI, Health Translation SA).

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