Our Results

Our research question:
Do people report all episodes of depression to their GP?
And if not, why not?

Check out our Infographics for a summary of what we found. 

Our project used 3 methods:

  1. Online survey which was open to Depression Detectives members
  2. Focus group style questions which were posted in the Facebook Group
  3. Melissa Lewins analysed UK Biobank data on our behalf.


  • 26 people completed our survey and 10 people took part in focus group discussions within the Facebook Group.

    • 84% of our respondents had gone to the doctors with half or less of their episodes of depression.
    • Many went only with their more serious episodes or when they needed practical help (e.g. to be signed off work).
    • Half of them had regretted not going afterwards.
    • 50% had used private talking therapy instead
    • Many had managed their episodes using things like exercise, meditation, yoga or social contact.
    • This means that many of the ways they treated their depression would not be visible within their health records (i.e. not available to data science researchers).
      Depression Detectives – Results of survey and focus groups
  • UK Biobank:

    • 1,342 people within UK Biobank answered questionnaires in a way that suggested they had experienced depression AND had given permission for UK Biobank to analyse their GP records.
    • Of those, Melissa found that 67%  had no mention of depression in their GP records.