Is depression research asking the right questions? Your chance to get involved


A new national survey about depression has just launched. It’s organised by an impressive group of partners, who want to improve care, support and treatment for people affected by depression.

Depression affects 1 in 10 adults in any year, and can have debilitating consequences. We know that research can improve lives; improve diagnosis, treatments, care and prevention. But who decides what to research? What would make the most difference to people’s lives? There is no-one better to help inform research than people affected. This survey gives people with depression, who are rarely consulted, a unique chance to be involved in setting the research agenda.

Research has huge potential

  • Fundamental research into the causes of depression can shed insight to what is happening in the brain during the condition
  • Clinical trials can test new and better treatments
  • Social research can improve access and availability of treatments and support

But how should research be funded? With limited resources, who decides what is the most important?

MQ and the other partners will work to rank all of the questions received into research priorities

MQ and the other partners will work to rank all of the questions received into research priorities

How will the survey work?

This unique project brings together major organisations who represent and advocate for those with depression. Together the partners are promoting a national survey to uncover the unanswered questions about depression. All the unanswered questions will be gathered and ranked into lists of top ten priorities. This is done using an established process that gives equal weight to the voices of patients, carers and clinicians.

The lists of top tens will be then promoted to researchers and research funders. The aim is not to replace work that is being done. Researchers have vital insight into their fields of work, and we should not attempt to replace that. Rather, we want to give researchers the chance to connect with the people their work can affect; something that rarely happens.

Who is this survey for?

Just about everyone on the planet, given that it’s aimed at:

  • People who have, or have had, depression
  • The carers, friends and families of people affected by depression
  • Health and social care professionals who work with people with depression

Take part now

The elves urge you to submit your depression questions now at:


Depression: asking the right questions website

Depression: asking the right questions (Download the PDF flyer)

JoinMQ website

James Lind Alliance: research priorities top tens

DUETs database: depression

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Andre Tomlin

André Tomlin is an Information Scientist with 20 years experience working in evidence-based healthcare. He's worked in the NHS, for Oxford University and since 2002 as Managing Director of Minervation Ltd, a consultancy company who do clever digital stuff for charities, universities and the public sector. Most recently André has been the driving force behind the Mental Elf and the National Elf Service; an innovative digital platform that helps professionals keep up to date with simple, clear and engaging summaries of evidence-based research. André is a Trustee at the Centre for Mental Health and an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London Division of Psychiatry. He lives in Bristol, surrounded by dogs, elflings and lots of woodland!

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