Dr Andrew Ford

Started at UWA: 2009

Easing the burden of mental illness in the elderly

Cognitive and mood disorders in the elderly are common and impair quality of life and increase mortality. We need to continually strive to better treat these conditions and use the best evidence to guide our clinical practice.

Dr Andrew Ford

Dr Andrew Ford is a senior lecturer in Psychiatry of Old Age, and a consultant psychiatrist, specialising in older adult care, with the East Metropolitan Health Service. 

Dr Ford’s research interests cover healthy ageing and mental health outcomes in older adults, including studying risk factors for dementia, psychiatric sequela of stroke, and mood disorders.

His key research focuses on the prevention and treatment of cognitive and mood disorders in older adults.

Dr Ford is leading a trial into the prevention of delirium following major cardiac surgery.

Dr Ford holds a four-year (2016-2019) National Health and Medical Research Council-Australian Research Council Dementia Research Development Fellowship Grant, enabling him to research the aetiology, prevention and treatment of depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia in later life.

A chief investigator on competitive grants totalling more than $4 million, Dr Ford contributes significantly to the research activities of the UWA Medical School. He is an active and enthusiastic teacher of medical students and psychiatric trainees completing their training with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and is the current sub-dean for UWA medical students completing their final year of study.

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Dementia Research Development Fellow, 2016-2019

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Awarded the Advanced Trainee Project Prize Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, 2008


A trial to decrease the prevalence of depression in Australian Nursing Homes

Depression is common among residents of aged care facilities, although symptoms are often not detected or treated.

The Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC) was designed to enhance knowledge about depression and anxiety in residential care. PEAC was developed as an e-learning program for the elderly and their carers to assist in detecting and managing anxiety and depression.

Through a trial of the PEAC platform, we will test whether the addition of a behavioural activation component is more efficacious than the PEAC alone, in terms of reducing the frequency of depressive symptoms among nursing home residents.

Depression in Dementia

This study will look at what contributes to depression and other behavioural symptoms in people with Alzheimer's-type dementia.

These symptoms are common and difficult to treat so it is important we gain a better understanding of why they develop and look at ways to prevent their occurrence.

The study will also test a simple, safe and novel intervention aimed at altering the biases we have in our thought processes that may underlie the development of these symptoms.

An Australasian trial of the efficacy of fluoxetine in improving functional recovery after acute stroke

Treatments that improve recovery after stroke are lacking, even though stroke is one of the top three causes of disability.

This project came about after reviewing world literature and finding a number of very small studies that suggest antidepressant drug, fluoxetine, may improve the recovery in stroke patients.

The AFFINITY trial was born, where we are testing the drug among 1600 Australians and New Zealanders who have had a stroke. The trial aims to find out whether taking fluoxetine for six months after a stroke improves recovery compared to a placebo.

Contact Dr Andrew Ford