Research projects

The fish oil youth depression pilot study – A randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial

Principal researcher

Associate Professor G. Paul Amminger
Professor Anthony Jorm
Professor Patrick McGorry
Professor Andrew Mackinnon

Institution

Orygen Youth Health Research Centre

Funding

$221,256

Award type

National Priority Driven Research Program

Project completion year

2015

Main messages

  • One hundred thirty eight young people were approached for study participation, 90 (65.2%) of those consented and 48 refused consent.
  • Two thirds of eligible young people consented to the trial; those 68 young people were enrolled in the pilot trial.
  • More than 80% of the sample completed the 12-week intervention period.
    At the 12-week follow-up, only 25% of participants still reported clinically relevant (moderate or severe) depressive symptoms while 75% of participants were found to have improved clinical symptoms.
  • No participant discontinued the trial because of an adverse event
    A randomised controlled trial of omega-3 PUFAs was found to be feasible to be run within headspace centres within existing clinical infrastructure.
  • By enrolling 5 participants per month, the researchers were able to show that the recruitment capacity at two headspace centres was sufficient for the trial.
  • The findings of this pilot trial indicate a high level of acceptability for omega-3 PUFAs plus cognitive-behavioural case management as first line treatment for major depression in the youth.

Download The fish oil youth depression pilot study final report.

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