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Project Title:
A New Statistical Paradigm for Measuring Psychopathology Dimensions in Youth (YCAT Study)
Principal Investigator:
David Brent, MD
For Information Contact:

Brandie George-Milford (Telephone: 412-246-5629 or 412-586-9405; Email: ycat@upmc.edu)

What We Are Studying:
The purpose of the study is to learn more about the assessment of mood and behavior problems in children.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Boys and girls 7-17 years old that are in treatment for mood or behavioral problem and their legal guardians/parents.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Youth with a diagnosis of psychosis or autism are not eligible.
What Participation Involves:
Participation involves one visit, lasting approximately 2 hours, for a youth-parent pair. The visit includes taking the YCAT survey on an iPad and answering between 150-200 questions about health, mood, and behaviors.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Yes, compensation is provided. Please contact the study coordinator for more details.


Project Title:
The Couples Study
Principal Investigator:
Paul Pilkonis, Ph.D.
For Information Contact:

Kristen Cushman, cushmank@upmc.edu 412-246-6517

What We Are Studying:
We are interested in the associations between personality traits, emotions, and how individuals interact with people close to them. We are also interested in the experience of being in a relationship with someone receiving mental health care.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Couples who are currently involved in a romantic relationship for at least a month may be eligible. One person in the couple must be currently receiving mental health treatment and be between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals who are not currently in a romantic relationship, individuals who are not in the age range, and individuals with traumatic brain injuries, strokes, or other major problems of the central nervous system.
What Participation Involves:
Both members of the couple participate, but the information they provide is not shared between them. Participants will complete a series of questionnaires and interviews asking about their past and current mental health treatment; the nature and quality of their relationships with their romantic partner, family, and friends; and how they react in certain situations. Participants will also be asked to complete a computer task and to tell us about their day-to-day lives using smart phones. One task is completed with both people together – a discussion in our office. Some tasks are repeated at different times over a one-year period.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Participants will each receive $25 to $50 for every visit, with maximum compensation that could amount to $805 per person over an entire year.


Project Title:
ADAPT: Addressing Depression and Pain Together
Principal Investigator:
Jordan F. Karp, M.D.
For Information Contact:

Dana Barvinchak Williams (Telephone: 412-246-6015; Email: barvdm@upmc.edu)

What We Are Studying:
We know that low back pain and depression often make each other worse. Some patients notice an improvement in both low back pain and depression when they are treated with an antidepressant medication alone. However, for individuals who do not improve with an antidepressant medication that has also been observed to have anti-pain properties, we want to compare two treatments to see which is better. In this clinical trial, we are testing whether increasing the dose of medication along with supportive care or increasing the dose of medication and adding Problem Solving Therapy specific for managing the problems of low back pain and depression is the more effective treatment.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Men and women aged 60 or older who are experiencing both chronic low back pain and depression.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Individuals who are wheelchair-bound or are unable to tolerate the study medication.
What Participation Involves:
Depending on a participant's response, the study lasts between 6 and 20 weeks. During the first 6 weeks, participants receive a medication called venlafaxine (Effexor) and supportive care. Those participants who do not improve will be randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group receives higher-dose venlafaxine with continuing supportive care. The other group receives higher-dose venlafaxine with a counseling intervention called Problem Solving Therapy for Depression and Pain.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
To compensate participants for their time and travel, those who complete the first 6 weeks receive $60. Those who complete the second 14 weeks of the study receive another $60. Those participants who agree to one blood draw will be compensated another $10 (for a potential of $130).


Project Title:
Diamond Brain Imaging Study
Principal Investigator:
Mary Phillips, M.D.
For Information Contact:

TEXT: DIAMOND to 412-999-2758; EMAIL: fmristudies@upmc.edu; CALL: 412-383-3109; WEBPAGE: www.diamond.pitt.edu

What We Are Studying:
Using fMRI scan techniques, this study is focusing on differences in emotion and brain functioning in those experiencing severe distress compared to those who are not. No treatment is provided.
Who Is Eligible to Participate:
Young Adults age 18-25 currently experiencing distress severe enough that they have sought treatment. They do not have to meet any disorder but they also are eligible if they do. Matched young adults who have never experienced distress or any psychiatric disorders.
Who Is Not Eligible to Participate:
Those on psychotropic medications for more than a couple weeks (or controls - ever); Those with current alcohol or substance abuse; Those with a history of severe concussion, neurological disorder, metal in the body, having claustrophobia, or currently pregnant.
What Participation Involves:
Participants will have a full clinical evaluation to determine eligibility and then complete self-report questionnaires on the screen day. Following that they will have an fMRI scan where they will complete tasks in the scanner and complete a brief clinical assessment & self-report forms. There is also a blood draw, if the participant agrees. For the distressed group, there are 2 follow-up clinical appointments at 6- and 12- months.
Do Participants Receive Compensation as Part of the Study:
Yes
What compensation Do Participants Receive:
Compensation for participation is as follows: $25 – screen visit; $75 – scan visit with potential to ‘win’ $6 more in the tasks/games in the scanner; $20 – blood draw; and $30 - follow-up visits.