Clinical Research and Innovative Treatment Interventions

Leaders: François Lesperance, Johanne Renaud, Joël Tremblay

Studies in clinical settings are very important because they allow us to assess the external validity of findings from laboratory or epidemiological studies to clinical populations. As such, one of the priorities of our Réseau will be the development in Québec of methodologically robust, translational clinical research in mood disorders, co-morbid substance disorders and suicidal behavior. To do so, we will encourage training of clinician scientists, and we will directly support the emergence of translational clinical research work that will facilitate incorporating research into a series of already available clinical platforms in Québec focusing on depression and suicidal behavior.

Two different priorities are identified by our Réseau with regard to translational clinical research. First, promoting research focusing on the investigation in clinical samples of findings produced by the other strategic groups. Given the emphasis on developmental processes, we will support studies focusing on youth clinical populations. This will be in line with the new priorities of the Québec Government on youth mental health. It is also in line with the strategic planning of federal agencies (such as CIHR), which has just announced the central theme of the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research in mental health.

Second, our Réseau will promote studies investigating innovative interventions in mood disorders, co-morbid substance disorders and suicide, from psychosocial treatment strategies and their potential impact on biomarkers of illness and risk to new medical treatment avenues such as deep brain stimulation and other neuromodulation strategies. 

The Réseau will also develop evaluative research in different clinical populations. This is complementary to the activities supported by our Services Analysis Platform and to the efficacy research on innovative treatment strategies. We will particularly promote research targeting treatments offered to the patient population with mood disorders, substance disorders and their intersection with suicidal behavior. It is important to understand factors that are associated with the effectiveness of the treatments offered to individuals with mood disorders, substance abuse and suicidal behaviors. Similarly, as the lack of compliance and abandonment of the follow-up constitute a major problem, it is very important to understand the factors and identify or develop the interventions that modify these predictors of poor treatment outcomes. As such, the Réseau encourage the development of studies aiming at assessing the efficacy and effectiveness of outpatient treatments offered to patient populations with such disorders.