OCEAN stands for Open Clinical Experience for Adolescents in Neuroscience. OCEAN is a non-intervention study (meaning there is no treatment involved) that has two main objectives. OCEAN is a research project that is separate from TIDE.
Firstly, OCEAN lets researchers hear directly from youth about the methods used in neuroscience research. We want to know whether projects, including TIDE, are accessible and youth-friendly. The best way to find that out is by having young people experience some of the same data collection methods used in projects like TIDE, and then asking them about their experiences and thoughts.
Secondly, like the name suggests, OCEAN is an opportunity for young people to learn about neuroscience, depression, mental health research and how these topics are studied using different types of data: brain activity, physical activity, sleep, speech, and molecular genetic biomarkers, to name a few. Participants will experience these data collection environments, and then also be able to interact with their own data to gain firsthand knowledge of how these data are analyzed and applied in research. We also want to hear from OCEAN participants to get their views and opinions on topics such as research ethics and mental health advocacy.
Using similar protocols to TIDE, OCEAN has the goal of involving youth in the field of psychiatry and neuroscience research. The primary aim is to establish a youth-friendly assessment protocol that is co-created with youth. The inclusion of youth input on projects designed for youth will allow researchers to understand and address barriers that may hinder recruitment, enrollment, engagement and/or comfort for youth joining projects such as TIDE.
WHAT IS OCEAN?
WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
We welcome anyone ages 12-24 in Nova Scotia who is interested in helping us co-create this neuroscience project to join. OCEAN participants do not need to be experiencing symptoms of depression to be eligible. Individuals seeking treament for depression should read more about the TIDE study and get in touch with the study team if they would like more information.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
OCEAN is broken down into three sessions, with each session being approximately 2-3 hours long. Participants are compensated for their time.
SESSION 1: DATA COLLECTION
In the first session, participants experience methods used in mental health research firsthand as participants, including: an EEG, a speech sample, a saliva sample, and some questionnaires. Participants will also be fitted for an actigraph to wear for two weeks.
SESSION 2: DATA ENGAGEMENT
The next session will be scheduled 2-3 weeks later. This data engagement session will allow participants to interact with their own data collected in Session 1, and they will have the chance to learn more about the methods used in neuroscience and psychiatry research.
SESSION 3: FEEDBACK SESSION
The third session will take place a few weeks after the second session. In this session, we would like to receive feedback on the participant's experience with OCEAN and gain insight into making clinical research accessible and comfortable for youth.
A portable device that captures brain activity
Speech samples are collected to analyze features of speech and language
A watch-like device which tracks sleep and activity
Several questionnaires on wellbeing, family health, and life experiences
Saliva can provide insight into genetic factors and their effects on wellbeing
BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING
We hope that participants will benefit from obtaining new neuroscience and clinical research knowledge, which may be beneficial for their education and when making career choices. This opportunity aims to empower participants through active engagement and interaction with their unique data, and allow them to advocate for themselves to access adequate healthcare should they need it in the future.