Participate in Research

People like you make the difference!

By participating in a research project, you play a part in helping physicians and researchers develop better ways to diagnose and treat people with mental illness. As a research participant, you learn about the causes of specific mental health problems and what can be done to manage these conditions. 

Find a study to participate in: Enter a keyword below (for example, "depression")

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Project Title:
The MindMap Study
Principal Investigator:
Jay Fournier, PhD
For Information Contact:
Katy-Lauren Ford (Email: MIDlab@pitt.edu; Telephone: 412-383-8133)
What We Are Studying:
Symptoms related to depression and anxiety can affect a person's daily life and interpersonal relationships. Some research suggests that people with mood and anxiety disorders process information differently than people without these types of disorders. The purpose of this study is to better understand the way the brain works in people who have depression and anxiety. Researchers hope their findings will lead to better ways to diagnose and treat mood and anxiety disorders in the future.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Ages 18-25; Currently experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety (feeling down or depressed, anxious, nervous, or tense, having no interest in things you used to enjoy, or feeling hopeless); Right-handed; Normal vision, vision that is corrected to normal with glasses or contacts; Fluent in English; Willing and able to undergo fMRI scanning (not claustrophobic, no non-removable metal in your body)
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
No major medical problems (e.g., stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, endocrine disorders, etc.); No history of neurological disorders (e.g., seizures, head injury, etc.); Not pregnant; Not currently receiving treatment (psychiatric medications or therapy)
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves an initial phone call and a 3 to 5 hour visit to find out if you are eligible. This visit will include completing questionnaires and interviews. If eligible, participants will have a second 3-5 hour visit for an MRI scan. MRI scans are not invasive and do not use radiation. The 3rd and 4th visits (at 6 and 12 months) will include 1.5 to 3 hours of questionnaires and interviews each. Three times, (following the scan, the 6-month follow-up, and the 12-month follow-up) participants will also complete daily online questionnaires for 7 days.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Up to $325.00.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Caregiving Effects on the Early Development of Infant Brain Behaviors Relationship
Principal Investigator:
Mary Phillips, MD, MD CANTAB
For Information Contact:
Megan Taylor (Email: Taylorm7@upmc.edu; Telephone: (412) 667-8719)
What We Are Studying:
This study will help researchers learn more about the ways in which infant's emotions are connected to areas of the brain and how parenting behaviors may affect these connections.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Mother/caregiver of an infant ages 0-3 months
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals not eligible to participate are: Premature babies (<37 weeks) or babies under 5.5 pounds; individuals hospitalized for physical or neurological issues; infants with metal in their bodies; babies exposed to an illicit substance during pregnancy and mothers currently using illicit substances (other than marijuana) as well as mothers who do not spend at least 2 hours a day caring for the infant.
What Participation Involves:
Participation consists of 3 research visits and 2 infant MRI scans during your child's first 18 months. The first visit (two parts) includes a home visit by the research team when your baby is 3 months old and a scan of your baby's brain (while sleeping) at Children's Hospital. The second visit (two parts) is comprised of an interview and filming in our research suite in Oakland when your baby is 9 months old and an evening scan of your baby's brain (while sleeping) at Children's Hospital. The third visit involves an Interview and filming in our research suite in Oakland when your child is 18 months old.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
CLAP Study
Principal Investigator:
Anna Manelis, PhD
For Information Contact:
Jessica Milewski, Research Associate, Telephone: 412-605-0131; Chloe Reshetar-Jost, Research Associate, 412-605-0141; clap@upmc.edu (preferred)
What We Are Studying:
We are interested in understanding how the brain works in people with and without mood disorders by comparing brain imaging from fMRI scans.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals between the ages of 18 and 45 that have a history of depression or mania, and those with no history of psychiatric disorders.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Those who do not meet standard criteria for fMRI scanning.
What Participation Involves:
This 12-month study may consist of up to 5 visits. Participants will have a psychiatric evaluation and complete self-report questionnaires at visits 1, 3 and 5. During visits 2 and 4, the participant will undergo an fMRI scan, complete additional questionnaires, and perform computer tasks. The fMRI scan is non-invasive.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will receive $30 for in-office visits (visits 1, 3, and 5), and $100 for scanning visits (visits 2 and 4). Participants will also be reimbursed $10 for transportation at each visit.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Families as Partners in Reducing Violence
Principal Investigator:
Edward Mulvey, PhD
For Information Contact:
Carol Schubert (Email: schubertca@upmc.edu; Telephone: 412-551-3808)
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to understand how families currently handle violent and potentially violent incidents involving a loved one living with mental or behavioral health issues. We want to understand the various ways that family members use their skills to handle these incidents, and we want to learn what methods seem to help in these situations and what things makes them worse. This information will be used to develop educational materials to help other families in similar situations. There is no medication or treatment involved with this study.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
We are recruiting men and women ages 18-60 years old; diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum or other psychotic disorders, depression or bipolar disorder (you may be eligible even if you have co-occurring mood disorders, substance use, and personality disorders), and; an incident of violence in the last six months, with violence defined as the laying on of hands with the perceived intent of doing harm to another an individual who witnessed the incident of violence who is also willing to participate ("the study partner")."
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals who do not meet the above criteria or who are not able to provide informed consent.
What Participation Involves:
After completing a telephone screening interview, eligible participants will complete a single interview for the study which is expected to take about 2 hours. The interview will focus on a violent incident that occurred in the past six months and will also include some questions related to overall emotions and stress at the time of the incident. A family member or friend who witnessed the event ("the study partner") will be interviewed at a separate time about the same incident."
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Both the study participant and the family member/friend who is their "study partner" will be compensated $50 after completing the study interview."
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
Mood and Brain Circuitry in Adolescents (MBA) Study
Principal Investigator:
Cecile Ladouceur, PhD
For Information Contact:
Allison Brown (Telephone: 412-624-8121; Email: MBAstudy@pitt.edu)
What We Are Studying:
The purpose of this study is to help researchers examine how patterns of brain-behavior relationships involved in processing positive emotional and rewarding information are associated with mood symptoms in adolescents with depression. The researchers hope that the data collected from this study will help them identify more personalized interventions for depression, especially in those with more varying mood symptoms. This study does not involve any treatments or medications.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Individuals who are: Ages 12-17 years old; Currently depressed; Not currently taking any medication to treat depression, and; Have no non-removable metal in their bodies (dental fillings are OK)
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Those unable to undergo fMRI scanning. Those who have a have a lifetime history of psychotic, autistic, or bipolar disorders.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves an in-person visit to the CAND Lab on the University of Pittsburgh campus which will take approximately 3 hours to complete. This visit will include completing interviews and questionnaires. A second in-person visit to the Magnetic Resonance Research Center located within UPMC Presbyterian for a fMRI scan. This visit will take about 2 hours to complete. Over the next 2 years, visits will be repeated every 6 months. Participants can choose between coming into the lab for the visit or having the research team come to their home.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.
Brochure Location:
Project Title:
EASE: Emotional Awareness and Skills Enhancement Study for ASD
Principal Investigator:
Carla Mazefsky, PhD
For Information Contact:
Please contact the study coordinator (Email: autismrecruiter@upmc.edu; Toll free-1866-647-3436)
What We Are Studying:
The Center for Excellence in Autism Research at the University of Pittsburgh is conducting a research study to evaluate a new treatment for adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who struggle with handling their emotions.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Verbal individuals with ASD ages 12-21 years old with an IQ> 80 who have difficulties with regulating their emotions.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder and/or current concerns of suicidality are not eligible to participate.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will be randomized to either EASE Therapy or Supportive Therapy. Each therapy involves 16 weekly sessions. Assessments will occur before treatment (baseline),at the mid-point and at the end of treatment, and three months after treatment. Assessments will include parent, other reporter and self-report questionnaires via an online secure system as well as some direct assessment. Participants will also be invited to participate in an optional part of the study designed to help us understand how the brain responds to emotions and mindfulness. This will involve playing a game at a computer while wearing a cap which has sensors in it and cables attached to it that measures brain activity called Electroencephalography (EEG).
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What Compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation for completing the study assessments and reimbursement for parking or public transportation.
Brochure Location: