Collaborative Care and Hoarding

Date produced 16 April 2013

Isabella is an older woman whose partner is worried about her hoarding. Each practitioner provides their individual perspective on providing care and explore how to work together to achieve improved outcomes for those affected by hoarding behaviour.

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Learning outcomes

By watching this webinar you will be better able to:

  • recognise the key principles of intervention and the roles of the featured disciplines in treating, managing and supporting people who hoard
  • understand the merits, challenges and opportunities in providing collaborative care to people who hoard.


Dr Michael Murray
Qualifications: MBBCh, Member of Australian College of Psychological Medicine
Profession: GP and Medical Educator
Based in: Townsville, QLD

Dr Michael Murray is a Townsville based GP currently providing medical education with Tropical Medical Training: General Practice Specialists. He also works at Headspace, Townsville.

Michael has worked for over 25 years as a GP in both rural and metropolitan practice and in indigenous health; his clinical expertise is in psychological medicine.

As the Mental Health Professionals Network’s (MHPN) main webinar facilitator, Dr Michael Murray knows as well as anyone the power of integrated communication. And as a career-long regional and rural doctor, he is profoundly aware of the isolation and restrictions to learning that GPs in the far corners of Australia endure.

He examined the prospects for online learning, especially in regional, rural and remote settings in an interview in August 2012:


  • Julie Harris
    Profession: Community Ageing Strategist (MFB)
    Based in: Victoria
    Julie Harris is Community Ageing Strategist for Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board (MFB). The role includes responsibility for the development of strategic and sustainable treatments to address the safety of ‘at risk’ groups living in the community at a state and national level. Prior to joining MFB, Ms Harris worked in the delivery of local state and Commonwealth funded programs in community aged care, disability and housing.

  • Professor Michael Kyrios
    Profession: Psychologist
    Based in: Victoria
    Professor Michael Kyrios is a clinical psychologist who is Director of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre at Swinburne University of Technology. With $16 million in grant funding and over 100 publications, Michael’s research focuses on obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, chronic medical illness, and “the self.” He conducted Australia’s first in-depth study of hoarding with Chris Mogan, and collaborates with Randy Frost and Gail Steketee. Along with Richard Moulding and others, he set up a hoarding research and treatment program at Swinburne University. Michael will give a keynote at the 2013 International Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering.

  • Associate Professor Steve Macfarlane
    Profession: Psychiatrist
    Based in: Victoria
    Steve Macfarlane graduated from Monash University in 1991, and worked for the next 17 years at Peninsula Health, qualifying as a psychiatrist in 2003. He was appointed Associate Professor in Aged Psychiatry at Monash University and as the Director of Aged Psychiatry at Caulfield Hospital in 2008. His research interests include Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials and senile squalor.

  • Professor Jane Gunn
    Profession: Academic/General Practitioner
    Based in: Victoria

    Professor Jane Gunn is the Head of Department, inaugural Chair of Primary Care Research and Director of the Primary Care Research Unit. Her research interests include depression in primary care, perinatal care, women's health, cancer screening, study design, and analysis within the primary care setting. Jane is particularly interested in randomised controlled trials,complex interventions, and combining quantitative and qualitative research methods.

    Professor Gunn has worked as an Academic GP since 1991 and has been heavily involved in research,teaching and curriculum development. Her PhD investigated the role of general practice in the provision of care to mothers and babies in the year after birth and included the analysis of routinely collected Health Insurance Commission data, a State-wide survey of GPs and a randomised controlled trial of an early postnatal visit.

    She has a special interest in combining quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to fully explore the questions that face the primary health care setting.


The following resources support the webinar:


Collaborative Care and Hoarding PDF [1.2 MB]

Case study

Case study: Collaborative Care and Hoarding

External resources

Victoria Department of Health Discussion Paper: Hoarding and Squalor [PDF]

Recommended readings

  • Steketee, G; Tolin, D; Frost, R (2007) Buried in Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving, and Hoarding
  • Tompkins, M; Hartl, T (2009) Digging Out: Helping Your Loved One Manage Clutter, Hoarding, and Compulsive Acquiring

Participants who attended the webinar provided the following feedback:

Learning needs

Survey respondents were asked to rate the degree to which their own learning needs were met.  96% of respondents indicated their needs were ‘entirely met’ or ‘partially met’. 6% of respondents indicated their needs were ‘not met’, citing in the main a desire for more information on interventions and treatment.

Relevance to practice

When asked to rate how relevant the webinar was to the clinicians own practice, 57% stated it was ‘entirely relevant’. 43% marked it as ‘partially relevant’ with some citing seeing a limited amount of hoarding presentations in their clinical work

Practice change

The results of this question indicate that 87% of respondents intend to make changes to their clinical work practice as a result of attending the webinar.

This webinar was produced in April 2013. The Mental Health Professionals’ Network’s webinars are produced for mental health professionals. The information is intended for suitably-experienced mental health professionals and does not replace clinical judgement and decision making. It is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only and may or may not be relevant to particular patients or circumstances. The subject matter is not exhaustive of any mental health conditions presented. Health professionals implementing any recommendations contained in the webinar must exercise their own independent skill or judgement or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular circumstances when so doing. Any information presented in the webinar recording was deemed relevant at the time of the live event and after this date has not been reviewed. No guarantee can be given that the information is free from error or omission.

Accordingly, MHPN and its employees and agents shall have no liability (including without limitation liability by reason of negligence) to any users of the information contained in any MHPN webinar for any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise) cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in MHPN webinars and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act, omission or misrepresentation of the information.