Professor David Barton

Honorary Professorial Fellow and Consultant Psychiatrist

Director of Mental Health, South Eastern Hospital

Professor Barton is an academic and clinical psychiatrist, who works as a senior consultant at Ballarat Health Services, a consultation-liaison psychiatrist within the Acquired Brain Injury Unit at Caulfield Hospital and in private practice at South Eastern Private Hospital. Professor Barton is also a senior research scientist within the Human Neurotransmitter Laboratory at the BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, an Honorary Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne and is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Centre for Heart Health. He has significantly contributed to documenting the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the association between major depressive disorder and cardiometabolic disease development. Professor Barton was involved with the SADHART trial that documented the safety of SSRI therapy with sertraline in patients following myocardial infarction or unstable angina. With other members of the research team, he is a contributor to the Handbook of Psychocardiology, edited by D. Byrne and CI Alvarenga. His contribution to the item development process for the Cardiac Distress Questionnaire (CDQ) has been to ensure that the physiological aspects of cardiac distress are captured well. This interest is reflected in his 2016 Frontiers in Psychiatry paper, ‘Examining endothelial function and platelet reactivity in patients with depression before and after SSRI therapy’. Professor Barton has a high level of expertise in working within the field of psychocardiology. He is working on an NHMRC-funded study on ketamine use in patients with treatment resistant depression, and on the construction and validation of a measure of cardiac distress.