Understanding mental health in the context of chronic physical health conditions and improving access to effective psychological treatment

Project: Research

Description

Chronic physical diseases are very common and their development requires adjustment to new circumstances, limitations and treatment regimes. Consequently, they can have a significant and ongoing impact on almost all aspects of life. Reflecting this, common mental health difficulties such as anxiety and depression are more than twice as common among adults with chronic physical disease. This is significant as poor mental health is known to have a significant affect both the medical management and peoples' self-management of chronic physical disease.

Epidemiological research indicates that most adults with common mental health difficulties do not access psychologically-based treatment. There are numerous barriers that limit access to traditional face-to-face treatments including cost, stigma, long waitlists and their decreasing availability outside of major cities. Many people also report a strong preferences to self-manage their mental health and, even when accessing care, many do not receive evidence-based psychological treatment. These issues are often compounded for people with chronic physical disease. Thus, there is a need for more accessible and effective psychological treatments as well as information that assists people to safely and effectively manage their mental health over the long term.

The proposed program of research aims to address critical knowledge and service gaps by continuing the development and evaluation of a remotely-delivered psychological treatment for adults with chronic physical health disease. It also aims to improve our understanding of the factors affecting the mental health of adults with chronic physical diseases, and the relationship between psychological skills use and the maintenance of good mental health. The proposed program will substantially increase our current knowledge and significantly advance our ability to support the mental health of Australian Adults with chronic physical disease.
AcronymNHMRC Investigator Grant
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/24