REdressing Long-tErm Antidepressant uSE in general practice (RELEASE) study

Overview of the RELEASE research programme

Our vision is to improve evidence-based use of antidepressant medication in general practice. There is considerable concern about increasing antidepressant use, due mostly to increasing long-term use in general practice not consistent with clinical guideline recommendations. Australians are among the highest users in the word (around one in seven adults are using antidepressants), despite evidence these drugs can adversely affect quality of life. Many people experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop antidepressants. 

RELEASE is a multi-modal intervention comprising education, brief interventions, protocols, follow-up, and support to prompt and guide discontinuation of long-term antidepressants and prevent relapse. All prescribing decisions are made as usual by the GP and patient together. 

Our research involves a series of stages to develop, optimise, pilot and evaluate the RELEASE intervention, a multi-modal intervention comprising education, brief interventions, protocols, follow-up, and support to prompt and guide discontinuation of long-term antidepressants and prevent relapse. 

We adopt the ‘person-based approach’ (Bradley et al., 2018) to guide our research during these stages. The person-based approach is used to integrate the perspectives of the people who will use the RELEASE intervention. We refine the components of the RELEASE intervention based on feedback and insights from patients and general practitioners, to ensure the intervention is suitable and acceptable to users, interesting and easy to use.

The RELEASE study is supported by a grant from the Mayne Academy of General Practice.

 

                               

Chief Investigators

Associate Professor Katharine Wallis

Associate Professor Katharine Wallis

Acting Head & Associate Professor
Primary Care Clinical Unit
Dr Maria Donald

Dr Maria Donald

Deputy Director - Research
Centre for Health System Reform and Integration
Principal Research Fellow
Primary Care Clinical Unit