An interview with Dr Sara Siddi on the Depression study in Spain

This week, we’ve spoken to Dr Sara Siddi who manages the RADAR-CNS depression clinical study in Spain. Sara is based at Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona.

Please can you tell us about your background and your role in the project?
I am a psychologist. I graduated from the University of Cagliari in Italy and then completed my master's in Clinical and Health Psychology, with specialization in neuropsychology  at the University of Barcelona. I completed my PhD in clinical neuroscience at the University of Barcelona.

My primary responsibility is to coordinate the RADAR-CNS depression clinical study in Spain. I’m involved in different process of the study, including coordination with other clinical centres in Spain, obtaining ethical approvals, participant’s enrolment, monitoring and follow-up of participants, supervision of data quality of our clinical site and analysis.

What do you enjoy the most about your work on the project?
I really appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with other people with various professional expertise from other countries. Co-working with  professionals across different countries is a big effort, but it will be the key of a successful project.  Moreover, I consider this project a great chance to understand more about people who live with depression.  I try to capture their feelings and their life experiences to understand their point of view and their needs. 

The main aim of my work is to provide an accurate tool to prevent relapses in people who suffer with depression and improve their quality of life.  

What do you think is the importance of the project for the wider field of wearable devices?
I believe that  wearable devices represent a future way to monitor the health of people with depression in real-time and in their natural environment. 

Our participants give their opinions about the apps and devices and this allows us  to improve it and interpret their health status better.  They highlight the importance of these tools in motivating them to be more physically active and help them to reflect on their thoughts and feelings.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your work or life?
I’m currently working remotely at home (as our most of my colleagues).  This situation shows how remote monitoring of the disease is important.  Depression may lead to a person’s isolation and perception of loneliness, and a continuous monitoring of their health status might help them to feel less isolated and safer. I’m always in contact with participants.

Through this channel I would like to send a thankful message to our participants across Spain:  “Quiero dar las gracias a todos los participantes que con su esfuerzo y dedicación están contribuyendo en este importante proyecto, sin ellos no hubiera sido posible conseguir estos avances.  Espero que a través de la investigación, se pueda tener más conocimiento de la enfermedad y ayudarles  a conseguir una mejor calidad de vida”.

“I want to thank all the participants who with their effort and dedication are contributing to this important project, without them it would not have been possible to achieve these advances. I hope that through research, they can become more knowledgeable about the disease and help them achieve a better quality of life. ”