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Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study

Overview of attention for article published in "The Lancet Psychiatry", May 2016
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • One of the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#1 of 1,058)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (98th percentile)

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335 Mendeley
Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study
Published in
"The Lancet Psychiatry", May 2016
DOI 10.1016/s2215-0366(16)30065-7
Pubmed ID

Robin L Carhart-Harris, Mark Bolstridge, James Rucker, Camilla M J Day, David Erritzoe, Mendel Kaelen, Michael Bloomfield, James A Rickard, Ben Forbes, Amanda Feilding, David Taylor, Steve Pilling, Valerie H Curran, David J Nutt, Carhart-Harris, Robin L, Bolstridge, Mark, Rucker, James, Day, Camilla M J, Erritzoe, David, Kaelen, Mendel, Bloomfield, Michael, Rickard, James A, Forbes, Ben, Feilding, Amanda, Taylor, David, Pilling, Steve, Curran, Valerie H, Nutt, David J, Carhart-Harris, RL, Bolstridge, M, Rucker, J, Day, CM, Erritzoe, D, Kaelen, M, Bloomfield, M, Rickard, JA, Forbes, B, Feilding, A, Taylor, D, Pilling, S, Curran, VH, Nutt, DJ


Psilocybin is a serotonin receptor agonist that occurs naturally in some mushroom species. Recent studies have assessed the therapeutic potential of psilocybin for various conditions, including end-of-life anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and smoking and alcohol dependence, with promising preliminary results. Here, we aimed to investigate the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of psilocybin in patients with unipolar treatment-resistant depression. In this open-label feasibility trial, 12 patients (six men, six women) with moderate-to-severe, unipolar, treatment-resistant major depression received two oral doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg, 7 days apart) in a supportive setting. There was no control group. Psychological support was provided before, during, and after each session. The primary outcome measure for feasibility was patient-reported intensity of psilocybin's effects. Patients were monitored for adverse reactions during the dosing sessions and subsequent clinic and remote follow-up. Depressive symptoms were assessed with standard assessments from 1 week to 3 months after treatment, with the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (QIDS) serving as the primary efficacy outcome. This trial is registered with ISRCTN, number ISRCTN14426797. Psilocybin's acute psychedelic effects typically became detectable 30-60 min after dosing, peaked 2-3 h after dosing, and subsided to negligible levels at least 6 h after dosing. Mean self-rated intensity (on a 0-1 scale) was 0·51 (SD 0·36) for the low-dose session and 0·75 (SD 0·27) for the high-dose session. Psilocybin was well tolerated by all of the patients, and no serious or unexpected adverse events occurred. The adverse reactions we noted were transient anxiety during drug onset (all patients), transient confusion or thought disorder (nine patients), mild and transient nausea (four patients), and transient headache (four patients). Relative to baseline, depressive symptoms were markedly reduced 1 week (mean QIDS difference -11·8, 95% CI -9·15 to -14·35, p=0·002, Hedges' g=3·1) and 3 months (-9·2, 95% CI -5·69 to -12·71, p=0·003, Hedges' g=2) after high-dose treatment. Marked and sustained improvements in anxiety and anhedonia were also noted. This study provides preliminary support for the safety and efficacy of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression and motivates further trials, with more rigorous designs, to better examine the therapeutic potential of this approach. Medical Research Council.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 335 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 5 1%
Brazil 3 <1%
Denmark 2 <1%
India 1 <1%
Russian Federation 1 <1%
Portugal 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Australia 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 319 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 88 26%
Student > Master 52 16%
Researcher 50 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 38 11%
Other 32 10%
Other 75 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Psychology 84 25%
Medicine and Dentistry 81 24%
Neuroscience 48 14%
Unspecified 27 8%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 23 7%
Other 72 21%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1901. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 11 March 2018.
All research outputs
of 9,230,639 outputs
Outputs from "The Lancet Psychiatry"
of 1,058 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 276,919 outputs
Outputs of similar age from "The Lancet Psychiatry"
of 75 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 9,230,639 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,058 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 59.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 276,919 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 75 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 98% of its contemporaries.