[This project has now finished, but we will leave these posts here as a record of what we did]
The final stage of this project is now here – we’re working on our own piece of research! We’re looking at whether people’s episodes of depression are always visible in their medical records and if they aren’t, what are the reasons?
We’ve found out that when scientists do research into depression, their information on who experiences depression and how many episodes they have is often mainly based on their medical records. We want to find out whether people’s medical records are a good measure of that, or if a lot of information is missed by using them as a measure, because people may not always go to a doctor for their depression.
We’ll be doing that both on a large scale by analysing existing data, and in detail by asking people within the group about their own experiences of depression.
Within our group, we’ll be asking if people have always gone to the doctor when they’ve experienced depression, and if not, why not?
We’re also looking at data from the cohort study UK Biobank, which has asked its participants to fill in a questionnaire to screen for depression and also includes their medical records, to see how well the results of the questionnaire match up with the medical records. If someone has a score on the questionnaire which suggests they are depressed, is there usually also a record that they have seen a doctor for depression at around the same time?
Watch this space to see what we discover!