Optymise has as its primary focus the delivery of clinical trials, longitudinal studies and neurobiological infrastructure to test the feasibility of delivering optimised early interventions for young people with emerging mood disorders. Central to its mission, Optymise will engage young people in the design, evaluation and dissemination of research and in their own ongoing health care. Other key goals include increased collaboration facilitated through converging and integrating data sets and clinical networks, the development of key personnel to lead future research, and translation of research findings into evidence based practice.
Specifically, Optymise will focus on:
- Generating new knowledge that leads to improved health outcomes
- Ensure effective transfer of research outcomes into health policy and practice
- Develop the health and medical research workforce by providing opportunities to advance the training of new researchers.
Longitudinal and clinical cohort studies of the adolescent and early adult periods have been a key feature of the research team’s extensive collaborative work to date. The major objectives of Optymise will be achieved through development of a new integrated set of targeted clinical trials, longitudinal studies, family studies and reverse translation investigations to create new evidence that will underpin clinical practice.
The major research studies will examine:
- The utility of new thresholds for treatments
- The risk-benefit ratio associated with novel behavioural or pharmacological treatments
- The impact on risk to poor physical or more complex health outcomes
- The value of objective markers of illness risk or profession
- Optimal methods for engagement young people in care.
Within the Optymise framework studies will contribute new data to four major research themes. This will occur through greater standardisation of clinical and neurobiological measuresment, enhanced data integration and focused collaborative analysis.
The Optymise team have an outstanding track record in translating research into health policy and practice, engaging with stakeholder organisations and responding to the needs of the government, community and other relevant third parties. They have established extensive professional and policy development capacities, nationally and internationally, for transferring clinical and health services research into national population health and health services developments. Optymise will encourage continued implementation of new research findings into future clinical practice. In addition, Optymise will continue fostering those service systems which ensure that early intervention and treatment is both accessible and acceptable to young people.
Alongside the formal research, the development of key research personal with the capacity to contribute to long term research in the area is a high priority. The main focus in developing this workforce is in developing interdisciplinary skills. There is a vision for a workforce that comprises individuals with developed expertise, not only in at least one key aspect of basic science or clinical research methodology, but also with a keen appreciation of the need to work at the relevant interfaces. Currently, there is an international push for greater emphasis on the broad concept on ‘translational’ medicine, engaging all manner of health care professional, in order to improve clinical research training. Our chief investigators lead clinical research centres devoted to various translation tasks and have a proven track record in mentoring both junior clinicians and researchers in these most difficult interdisciplinary areas.