Update from Prof Bruce Singh, Chair, Mood Disorders Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Evidence Review Steering Group

Professor Bruce Singh AM, Chair, welcomes the opportunity to provide an update on the work of the Mood Disorders Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Evidence Review Steering Group (Steering Group). 

The Anna Freud Centre (AFC) was appointed by the College in October 2023 to conduct a review into the evidence for long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy (LTPP) in the treatment of mood disorders. Since then the Steering Group has been working productively with the AFC to progress this project.

There are three key components of the review, comprising:

  • A quantitative systematic review of literature and meta-analysis of existing literature on the effectiveness of LTPP and comparator treatments in the treatment of mood disorders
  • A systematic review of qualitative and experiential evidence in relation to LTPP from the perspective of consumers, carers, and professionals 
  • Conducting 24 one-to-one interviews with people with lived experience of LTPP (consumers and carers), and clinicians delivering LTPP

The systematic reviews are nearing completion, in line with literature search protocols developed by the AFC and guided by the Steering Group. The one-to-one interviews are scheduled to commence in the coming weeks.

It is justifiably necessary for a rigorous ethical process to be applied to the design and conduct of the one-to-one interviews. We’ve strived to ensure that the process is co-designed with lived experience, and that interviews with consumer and carers are conducted in a collaborative and culturally safe manner. Focus has been on developing the right questions, providing support for interviewees, and developing recruitment and screening materials to ensure that an appropriate range of people are interviewed. Each consumer and carer interview will have a lived experience representative on the interview panel.

In addition, the Steering Group has committed to ensuring that the project remains binational. This has required ethics approval to be sought in three separate countries; the UK (where the AFC is based), Australia, and Aotearoa New Zealand. It has been a worthwhile challenge to navigate the three ethics committee approval processes simultaneously, incorporating resubmission in some countries where aspects of the research had to change based on requests from an ethics committee in a different country. We are grateful to the AFC for navigating this process, and to the ethics committees in Australia (St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne), New Zealand (University of Otago), and the UK (University College London) for their careful consideration and approval.

It was originally anticipated that the final report of the review would be completed by May 2024. However, given the complexities of the work involved, the final report is now expected to be delivered by August 2024 to allow time for a high-quality report to be developed.

Updates on the project will continue to be provided via the Mood Disorders Hub. If you wish to hear directly from the AFC about the project, listen to this podcast.

For further information contact policy@ranzcp.org.


More news & views