Research projects

Right choice, right time: Supporting young people to make evidence-based, preference-sensitive decisions about treatment for mild, moderate and severe depression

Principal researcher

Dr Magenta Simmons


Orygen Youth Health Research Centre



Award type

beyondblue Victorian Centre of Excellence

Project completion year


Main Messages

  • The researchers successfully developed and evaluated an online tool that supported young people and their clinicians to make decisions about treatment that were:
    1. In line with the evidence and beyondblue Clinical Practice Guidelines; and
    2. Consistent with their personal preferences and values. 
  • The development process had several stages of consumer, caregiver and clinician involvement and involved a new systematic review on the effectiveness of psychological therapies for youth depression (undertaken by a broader research group). 
  • The evaluation showed that the tool helped young people to make a treatment decision, that they were less confused about what to do, and that they were more likely to choose a treatment option in line with the beyondblue Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  • Young people were satisfied with the decision they made, felt involved in making the decision (reported high levels of shared decision making) and felt that the decision matched their personal preferences and values.

  • At approximately eight weeks after using the decision aid, the majority (more than 80% for each treatment mode) of clients had been adherent to their chosen treatment, demonstrating a positive fit with their individual needs.  At this same follow up time point depression scores were also significantly improved. 
  • When clients and clinicians were asked to provide feedback on each section of the decision aid, the majority of responses were positive, with only minor suggestions for how to improve the tool.
  • Overall this study demonstrated that a decision aid for youth depression can help connect clients with the right treatment choice at the right time, resulting in positive outcomes for this often difficult to engage population.

Download ​Right choice, right time: supporting young people to make evidence-based,
preference-sensitive decisions about treatment for mild, moderate and severe depression
 final report.

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