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Claire Young

Claire is an Associate Research Fellow (e-Health and m-Health) within the Food & Mood Centre whose research focusses on developing digital interventions to support dietary change for people with mental illness.

Claire is currently working on projects in PTSD, depression and also the digitisation of the digital intervention used in Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids.

Claire holds degrees in Engineering, Information Technology and Psychology and her research brings together these fields with the development of innovative technology to engage and educate people with mental health issues on dietary change targeting the gut microbiome, in order to improve their symptoms. She also has experience in designing, developing, implementing and supporting large scale rollouts of e-Health and m-Health programs. She hopes her research will contribute to the growing field of Nutritional Psychiatry and further our understanding of the connection between nutrition and mental health. Claire is passionate about helping individuals better understand the direct effects of their diet on their mental well-being and is also a true believer in the effective use of technology and using IT to achieve higher aims.

Her PhD project, completed at the Food & Mood Centre, The My Food & Mood Project, was a development, optimisation and feasibility study of digital dietary interventions for the improvement of depressive symptoms. This project showed that an m-Health version of the intervention had the highest levels of engagement and was able to achieve dietary change in the target population. Of particular note in this study was that improvement in diet quality correlated with both level of engagement and improvement in depressive symptoms. This project will now lead to large scale trials of the m-Health version of the program in depression and other mental illnesses.

Claire is also an aspiring Avocado farmer, having learnt in recent years that Avocado trees can grow in Victoria. She has over 30 plants and counting.

Research Interests:
e-Health, Behaviour Change, Engagement & Adherence, Depression

Young, C.L., Trapani, K., Dawson, S., O’Neil, A., Kay-Lambkin, F., Berk, M., & Jacka, F. N. (2018). Efficacy of online lifestyle interventions targeting lifestyle behaviour change in depressed populations: A systematic review. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52(9), 834–846.

Young, C.L., Campolonghi, S., Ponsbury, S., Dawson, O’Neil, A., Kay-Lambkin, F., S., McNaughton, S.A., Berk, M., & Jacka, F. N. (2019). Supporting engagement, adherence and behaviour change in online dietary interventions: a systematic review. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behaviour,  J Nutr Educ Behav. 2019 Jun;51(6):719-39. PMID: 31036500. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2019.03.006.

Young, C.L., Mohebbi M, Staudacher H.M, Kay-Lambkin F, Berk M, Jacka F.N., O’Neil A (2021). Optimizing Engagement in an Online Dietary Intervention for Depression (My Food & Mood Version 3.0): Cohort Study. JMIR Ment Health, 8(3), e24871.

Young, C.L, Mohebbi M, Staudacher H.M, Berk M, Jacka F.N. & O’Neil A (2021) Assessing the feasibility of an m-Health intervention for changing diet quality and mood in individuals with depression: the My Food & Mood program, International Review of Psychiatry,


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