Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Cohort profile
Cohort profile: the Brain and Mind Centre Optymise cohort: tracking multidimensional outcomes in young people presenting for mental healthcare
  1. Joanne S Carpenter1,
  2. Frank Iorfino1,
  3. Shane Cross1,2,
  4. Alissa Nichles1,
  5. Natalia Zmicerevska1,
  6. Jacob J Crouse1,
  7. Jake R Palmer1,3,
  8. Alexis E Whitton1,
  9. Django White1,
  10. Sharon L Naismith1,2,4,
  11. Adam J Guastella1,
  12. Daniel F Hermens1,5,
  13. Jan Scott1,6,7,
  14. Elizabeth M Scott1,8,
  15. Ian B Hickie1
  1. 1Brain & Mind Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2School of Psychology, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5Thompson Institute, University of the Sunshine Coast, Birtinya, Queensland, Australia
  6. 6Department of Academic Psychiatry, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom
  7. 7Diderot University, Sorbonne City, Paris, France
  8. 8School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joanne S Carpenter; joanne.carpenter{at}


Purpose The Brain and Mind Centre (BMC) Optymise cohort assesses multiple clinical and functional domains longitudinally in young people presenting for mental health care and treatment. Longitudinal tracking of this cohort will allow investigation of the relationships between multiple outcome domains across the course of care. Subsets of Optymise have completed detailed neuropsychological and neurobiological assessments, permitting investigation of associations between these measures and longitudinal course.

Participants Young people (aged 12–30) presenting to clinics coordinated by the BMC were recruited to a research register (n=6743) progressively between June 2008 and July 2018. To date, 2767 individuals have been included in Optymise based on the availability of at least one detailed clinical assessment.

Measures Trained researchers use a clinical research proforma to extract key data from clinical files to detail social and occupational functioning, clinical presentation, self-harm and suicidal thoughts and behaviours, alcohol and other substance use, physical health comorbidities, personal and family history of mental illness, and treatment utilisation at the following time points: baseline, 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months, and time last seen.

Findings to date There is moderate to substantial agreement between raters for data collected via the proforma. While wide variations in individual illness course are clear, social and occupational outcomes suggest that the majority of cohort members show no improvement in functioning over time. Differential rates of longitudinal transition are reported between early and late stages of illness, with a number of baseline factors associated with these transitions. Furthermore, there are longitudinal associations between prior suicide attempts and inferior clinical and functional outcomes.

Future plans Future reports will detail the longitudinal course of each outcome domain and examine multidirectional relationships between these domains both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and explore in subsets the associations between detailed neurobiological measures and clinical, social and functional outcomes.

  • depression & mood disorders
  • youth
  • early intervention

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Statistics from


  • Contributors IBH, DFH, JC, EMS, SLN, AJG, FI, and JSC were involved in study conception, design and planning, and are involved in ongoing planning, analysis, and publication of the data from this cohort. SC, JJC, JRP, and AEW are also involved in ongoing planning, analysis, and publication of the data from this cohort. AN, NZ, JJC, and DW are involved in study coordination and data collection. JSC drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to and have approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was partially supported by grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council including: Centre of Research Excellence (No. 1061043), Australia Fellowship (No. 511921 awarded to Prof Hickie), and Clinical Research Fellowship (No. 402864 awarded to Prof Naismith). Dr Carpenter was supported by the Caroline Quinn Research Grant.

  • Competing interests Professor Sharon Naismith has received honoraria for an educational seminar for Lundbeck. A/Professor Elizabeth Scott is the Medical Director, Young Adult Mental Health Unit, St Vincent’s Hospital Darlinghurst, Discipline Leader of Adult Mental Health, School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Research Affiliate, The University of Sydney and Consultant Psychiatrist. She has received honoraria for educational seminars related to the clinical management of depressive disorders supported by Servier and Eli-Lilly pharmaceuticals. She has participated in a national advisory board for the antidepressant compound Pristiq, manufactured by Pfizer. She was the National Coordinator of an antidepressant trial sponsored by Servier. Professor Ian Hickie has been a Commissioner in Australia’s National Mental Health Commission since 2012. He is the Co-Director, Health and Policy at the Brain and Mind Centre (BMC) University of Sydney. The BMC operates an early-intervention youth services at Camperdown under contract to headspace. Professor Hickie has previously led community-based and pharmaceutical industrysupported (Wyeth, Eli Lily, Servier, Pfizer, AstraZeneca) projects focused on the identification and better management of anxiety and depression. He is a Board Member of Psychosis Australia Trust and a member of Veterans Mental Health Clinical Reference group. He is the Chief Scientific Advisor to, and an equity shareholder in, InnoWell. InnoWell has been formed by the University of Sydney and PwC to administer the $30M Australian Government Funded Project Synergy. Project Synergy is a 3-year programme for the transformation of mental health services through the use of innovative technologies.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee (project numbers 2008/5453 and 2012/1626).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Deidentified data from the database can be made available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.