COVID-19 Social Distancing April Update: We hope you are managing during this difficult period. Tips on managing feelings of stress, anxiety and distress are available here.
Please note that the Bugs and Brains Study is still recruiting and assessing participants during this period, however we have changed our protocols such that no face to face contact is required. Please contact us here if you would like further information or have any questions.
There is growing interest in the link between the human microbiome (i.e., bacteria that live in our bodies) and human health. The Bugs and Brains Study is aiming to better understand the role of the microbiome, particularly in relation to some common mental and physical health conditions. We are also interested in learning about how the microbiome is related to biological functions (such as levels of hormones and inflammation), stress, and wellbeing. Please click on the Background tab for detailed background information about the study.
Participation in the Bugs and Brains Study involves the completion of online questionnaires, an interview, and the collection of faecal, urine, saliva, and hair samples. Participants who do not meet the eligibility criteria for, or would prefer not to take part in, the biological samples, will be asked to complete the online questionnaires only.
The main aim of the Bugs and Brains Study is to compare the microbial and physiological profiles of four groups of people:
- healthy adult women
- women with depression &/or anxiety disorders (who are not currently taking anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication),
- women with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and
- women with both depression &/or anxiety and IBS.
If you think you fit into one of these four groups, you may be eligible to participate in all components of the Bugs and Brains Study. If not, you may be eligible to participate in the questionnaire-only components of the study. Click on the 'Am I Eligible' tab above to find out more.
Contact the Bugs and Brains Study by clicking here.
If you have concerns about your physical or mental health, please contact your GP, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. General health information can be found at www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au. General mental health information can be found at www.beyondblue.org.au. In case of emergency, please call 000 immediately.
Funding for this study was received through the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.