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Posted • Last updated


Open to Patient partners within BC

Last updated

Volunteer opportunity

Do you want to be a part of research that tries to improve drug treatments for depression? Using new tests, it may be possible to give the right medication at the right dose sooner and with fewer side effects. Our study will examine if these kinds of tests for depression treatment should be routinely used in BC. We also want to know how much improved health patients might see, as well as whether the testing is good value for money for the health system.

We are looking for patients with major depressive disorder to join our research team as patient partners. This opportunity is at the level of collaborate on the spectrum of engagement. We will work with patient partners and ask for your advice, ideas and solutions throughout this project, and we will include your suggestions into elements of the research as much as possible.

Lead organization/Department

University of British Columbia (UBC), School of Population and Public Health

Open to: anyone living in British Columbia (BC) who has ever been diagnosed with major depressive disorder (this must be the main or primary mental health condition), and who has taken or currently takes antidepressant medications that have been prescribed by a doctor

Our Vision

Participation with and feedback from members of the public is an important part of this research. At least two patient partners will be full and active members of our research team. Patient partners will be asked to share their views and experiences with researchers from UBC in meetings, by reviewing and providing comments on documents (e.g., interview questions), and by helping to plan some activities for the study (e.g., focus groups, models). We want to work in partnership with patients to improve research and the future care of patients with depression.


  • Must have a main diagnosis of major depressive disorder (this means it is the main and most serious mental health condition you have been treated for, if you have more than one condition; you are still eligible if you’re currently feeling well)
  • Must have taken or currently take antidepressant medications that have been prescribed by a doctor
  • Must live in British Columbia
  • Able to communicate in English
  • Able to attend a monthly Thursday meeting by phone or video conferencing (requires Internet and web cam)
  • Must have access to the Internet and email
  • Comfortable working with a group, sharing your views and experiences (either during meetings or in written form), and respecting the opinions and diversity of other members
  • No previous experience or special skills are required. We will provide training and support to anyone who feels this would be of benefit.

Further details

Location, Date, Time and Frequency: approximately 1 meeting per month, which will be held by phone or video conference, lasting about 1.5 hours. Meetings will usually be the third Thursday of the month, but may not occur every month. Patient partners will also be invited to comment on documents or other planned activities in the study via email (about 2 hours per month).

Commitment: Two-year term, but we understand that circumstances may change and people are free to resign at any point. The project finishes April 2022.


Patient partners will be compensated $1000 per year for their time, in line with the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research’s Recommendations on Patient Engagement Compensation. Additional out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., travel to meetings) will be reimbursed.


The two-year project is being led by an experienced team at the University of British Columbia, and includes researchers and clinicians from Canada, the US, and the UK. In this study, we want to know if “pharmacogenomic testing” for depression treatment should be routinely used in BC. Pharmacogenomic testing is a new and promising approach that uses the patient’s genetic information to determine which particular drug might work best, at the right dose, with the fewest side effects. Through a series of research activities, we will evaluate how much improved health patients might see, as well as whether the testing is good value for money for the health system. This will be based on looking at existing information and getting the views of the public and healthcare professionals; we will not be doing any experimental or laboratory-based testing in this study.

Patient partners will work with researchers at UBC to share their views and experiences, and inform and shape this research. More information about the study can be found by clicking here.


We are looking for two patient partners living in BC of various ages, education levels, ethnic backgrounds, with major depressive disorder, and have taken or currently take antidepressants that a doctor has prescribed. Please apply now!

If you have any questions or would like more information about this opportunity, please contact:

Louisa Edwards, Project Manager

University of British Columbia, School of Population and Public Health

From Our Community

Laura Klein

Clinical Practice Consultant in Fraser Health

Laura Klein

Seeking the patient perspective doesn’t have to be complicated; it simply entails a commitment to ask and listen. Patient advisors not only bring a valuable perspective but also share original ideas and unique skills. Including the patient and family perspective changes the conversation and aligns the team’s focus towards common goals.