Anxiety Research

Research into anxiety

Virtual Exposure Therapy for Claustrophobia

We are looking for participants suffering with claustrophobia, more specifically a fear of lifts. A pre-requisite is that you have avoided lifts for at least a year due to your fear. We are providing 5 free sessions of virtual exposure treatment with elements of CBT and a psycho-educational element in Harley street over the summer and autumn of 2014.

Expiry Date: January 2015
Contact Person: Dr Vanessa Ruspoli

OCD and Mindfulness

This on-line study is investigating the relationship between Obsessive and Compulsive thoughts and behaviours; and Mindfulness.

Anyone who is 18 years and over, and is not currently receiving treatment for a mental health disorder and/or alcohol and drug abuse/dependence, is eligible to participate.

Participation is anonymous and the on-line survey should take about 20 minutes to complete.

If you feel you might be interested in taking part, please follow the link below, which will take you to the e-survey on the host university
website. Full information about the study is detailed on the e-survey Information Page.

This research is being conducted by Elisabeth Bakes, Doctor of Clinical Psychology student (University of Essex), as part of a doctoral thesis, and has been approved by the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences Ethics committee at the University of Essex.

Thank you for considering this research.

Expiry Date: 30/09/2014
Contact Person: Elisabeth Bakes

 Young people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

A research team based at the University of Cambridge are looking for individuals with OCD between the ages of 12 and 19 to participate in a study about how young people with OCD learn, make decisions and control their actions.

You can participate if you:

  • are 12 to 19 years old
  • have a primary diagnosis of OCD and no additional psychiatric disorders (e.g. depression, ADHD, autism)
  • are a native or fluent English-speaker
  • have normal or corrected-to-normal vision
  • have no current or previous alcohol or drug dependence

You would be asked to do:

  • a few tasks on a touch-screen computer
  • a few questionnaires
  • a short interview with a psychiatrist

The study takes about 4 hours. You can either travel to Cambridge or we can travel to your town.

For your time, we will pay you  £40 and we will reimburse you for travel expenses.

Expiry Date: 31st December 2016
Contact Person: Julia Gottwald
Phone: +44 (0) 7503 626448

Brain activity during learning in individuals with OCD

A study team based at the University of Cambridge are looking for people aged between 18 and 70 years old to participate in a study investigating brain activity during learning in individuals with OCD. To be eligible, you must not be taking any medication for your OCD at present.

The study involves completing some questionnaires and some computer tasks and you may be asked to perform some tasks while lying in an MRI scanner.

The study requires you to come to Cambridge and each testing session will take about three hours.

We will reimburse you £50 (if the testing involves scanning) or £25 (for a behavioural testing session) for participation plus all travel expenses.

Expiry Date: 30th November 2014
Contact Person: Annemieke Apergis-Schoute
Phone: 01223 333 587

Research about the relationship between mental health and bitter thoughts and feelings

This research is exploring the idea of bitterness. Previous research has shown that bitterness is a complicated emotion. It is understandable that it comes up in response to negative life events. We think it might be similar in some ways to a number of other emotions like sadness, anger and frustration. However, we don’t know very much about how feeling bitter affects an individual’s mental health and how it is different from these other emotions.

Who can take part?
•    Anyone over the age of 18 who is currently experiencing mental health difficulties

I have developed a questionnaire to look at bitter thoughts and feelings in more detail. I’m looking for people to complete this questionnaire alongside 4 others. This will help me to find out more about bitter thoughts and feelings, how they develop and how they relate to other mental health difficulties. This will take about 45 minutes in total and can be sent to you in the post with a freepost return envelope.

Your responses will be kept entirely confidential.

As part of the ethical approval for the project I have to send a letter to your GP to say that you have taken part but no details about your answers on the questionnaires will be shared with them.

If you are interested in taking part please contact me by email at or phone on 01225 385745 and I can tell you more about the project.

Alternatively, if you have any concerns about the research you can contact Professor Paul Salkovskis  on
Many thanks for your time.

Expiry Date: 30th April 2014
Contact Person: Sarah Mills
Phone: 01225 385745

Brain study on anxiety and depression

Do you worry all the time? Do you feel down most of the time? Are you scared of particular animals or situations?

If so, we are running a neuroimaging study investigating how anxiety and depression can influence brain function and would like to invite you to participate.

The study comprises a maximum of three visits to the FMRIB centre in the John Radcliffe Hospital (each visit will last about 2 hours each). During the first visit we will ask you to complete several questionnaires.

During the other two visits we will measure your brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while you perform simple computer-­based tasks.

You will be paid up to £100 plus any travel expenses.

If you are interested or if you want more information about the study please contact:
The CAN (Cognitive Affective Neuroscience) team: / 01865 222581
Or visit our Facebook page
Please quote ‘CLIN’ when you get in touch

Contact Person: The CAN (Cognitive Affective Neuroscience) team
Phone: 01865 222581

Reassurance seeking in health anxiety

We would like to invite you to consider participating in a research study that aims to investigate reassurance seeking in people experiencing Health Anxiety. We are particularly interested in exploring similarities between reassurance seeking and support seeking so that we can better understand how people seek reassurance and support, what motivates them to seek it and not seek it, and its perceived impact on people’s feelings and behaviours.

What would your participation involve?

1. You will be asked to participate in an interview about your experience of seeking reassurance and support.

2. You will also be asked to complete few questionnaires about symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Who can take part in this study?

We are seeking people (18 years old and above) who seek reassurance and are currently experiencing Health Anxiety.

All participants will be offered a £10 gift voucher in appreciation of their time and help.

How long will it take?

In total it is expected that participation involves approximately 1.5-2 hours of your time, which is broken down into 30 minutes for the questionnaire part of the study and 60-90 minutes for the interview part of the study.

Where will the interview take place?

The interview will be done in person at a location that is convenient for you. It is also possible to do the interview over the phone or Skype.

Is it confidential?

Yes! Strict ethical practice will be followed. This study has been granted NHS Ethics approval*.

All the information you provide will be kept strictly confidential and securely stored.

How to get more information about the study?

If you think you might be interested in taking part, or for an informal and confidential discussion about any aspect of the study, please contact Brynjar Halldorsson at:

Telephone: 01225 384280

Health Beliefs in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Do you experience symptoms of OCD?
Do you have an adult family member (e.g. mum, dad, partner, son, daughter) with OCD?*

If yes to either of these questions and you are a UK resident over 16 years of age, we would you like to invite you to take part in a research interview, which is being carried out as part of a PhD project at the University of Manchester.

We are hoping to learn more about the experiences of people with OCD and their family members. We would like to invite you to take part in a confidential interview, where we would discuss these experiences.

We will ask you some questions about:
•    Your experiences and knowledge of OCD
•    How OCD impacts you and your family
•    Your support needs

This research will help us to understand what helps families to cope with the mental health problem. We hope that this information will lead to a better understanding of the kind of support needed by both people with OCD and their family members.

*Please note that in the case of family members of persons with OCD, we will also need to speak to your family member with OCD before your interview can take place.

To find out more about the study, please contact Rebecca Pedley (Research Associate) on:
0161 306 7331

Anxiety Symptoms Prevention Investigation (ASPI).

We know that anxiety runs in families.  So, we know that many of the anxious adults that we see in mental health services will have children who also go on to be anxious.  Although some of this transmission is genetic, much of it now appears to be environmental.  We are starting to unpick some of these environmental influences, and think that there may be things that we can do to reduce the risk that these children are exposed to.

This project is funded by the National Institute of Health Research and has two key aims.  The first is to investigate how parents’ actions might transmit anxiety to their child.  The second is to develop and to begin to test a new intervention aimed at such parents.

The project is testing a new workshop for parents who have anxiety disorders, and we are looking for parents in the Greater manchester area to come and help us out at a workshop scheduled for 6th December.

If you are interested and would like to know more contact Clare Holden on or 0161 7014533.

CI: Dr Sam Cartwright-Hatton, 01273 876690,
RA: Dr Suzanne Dash, 01273 876650,
CSO: Humera Hussain (Tel: 07436 546668; Email:

The relationship between Mindfulness, Experiential Avoidance and hair pulling styles and severity in a community sample

Description: Hair pulling behaviour and its relationship to Mindfulness and Experiential avoidance

Could you take part in my research?
My name is Georgina Hurford and I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the University of Essex.

I am currently looking for people to participate in my research exploring the relationship between experiential avoidance (avoidance of negative thoughts and feelings), mindfulness (awareness of the present moment) and hair pulling behaviour.
This relates to a disorder called Trichotillomania which involves the recurrent pulling out of one’s hair resulting in noticeable hair loss.
However, it is not necessary for you to have a diagnosis of Trichotillomania to complete this research.

In order to participate in this research you must:

• Be over the age of 18
• Experience distress about your hair pulling

The study involves the completion of an online survey which will take approximately 30 minutes. A secure online system is used and all of the information you provide will be anonymous.

The study has been approved by the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences Ethics committee at the University of Essex.

Please click on the link below to find out more about the study and begin:

Expiry Date: 31/03/2014

Contact Person: Georgina Hurford
Phone: 07983509267

Brain wave activity in OCD

The Open University is currently investigating brain activity in people with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Could differences in the ‘brain waves’ explain why some sufferers respond well to medication and/or psychotherapy whilst others may not? The more we know about potential neurophysiological (i.e. brain) differences between sufferers, the more we may be able to progress towards personalized forms of treatment.

We are recruiting people with OCD between 18 and 70 years of age without learning disabilities to participate in the study. If you decide to participate, we will need four hours of your time (either morning or afternoon) or two sessions of about two hours each that can be scheduled according to your convenience. During this time, your brain activity will be recorded using a non invasive technique known as Quantitative Electroencephalography. You will also be interviewed and asked to fill two questionnaires.

The study has been approved by the Open University’s Human Ethics Committee.

By participating in this study, you will be contributing to scientific advancements in OCD research. The study does not involve any therapy but you may gain interesting insights about OCD and the brain.

Contact Person: Loes Koorenhof

Aspects of parenting and anxiety

There is now a lot of evidence that people who suffer from an anxiety disorder are more likely than average to have a relative who suffers from a similar problem. Whilst this may be partly due to shared genes, it is also likely that experiences and attitudes gained when growing up also play a role. However, little is known about how or which experiences might be related to anxiety, and importantly what experiences may protect against developing anxiety in later life.

If we understood more about these processes, it may help us prevent the development of anxiety in future generations. We are looking to recruit fathers with anxiety disorders with children aged 7-12 who live with their children. Participation will involve an interview conducted over the phone and questionnaires for fathers, their children and their partner.

Time and travel expenses will be reimbursed. This research is being done at the Institute of Psychiatry, London by Rebecca Chilvers, Fiona Challacombe and Paul Salkovskis.

Contact Person: Dr Rebecca Chilvers
07842 047339

Studying the biological basis of emotions in adolescents

Can we understand why some young people suffer from problems such as anxiety? Researchers at Oxford University are trying to find out

We are studying how the brain changes in response to emotional events. We are looking for young people (aged between 12 and 17) who have difficulties with anxiety. Please visit for more information and our contact details

Contact: Anneke Haddad
Telephone: 01865 271381

Survey of people with OCD and BDD struggling with referrals into specialist treatment centres

We are conducting a study looking at the difficulties people with OCD or BDD have experienced in accessing specialist help for their problems. If you have experienced difficulty obtaining referral to a national or regional specialist service when cognitive behaviour therapy or medication hasn’t worked locally we would like to ask you to complete either an online survey or a questionnaire through the post about the difficulties you have had, or are having. We are interested in hearing from people with OCD or BDD of all age ranges, including children and young people. If you have not had any difficulties accessing treatment or are happy with the treatment you are receiving and feel it is working for you, this study is not for you. Also, please only complete the survey if you live in the UK and are eligible for NHS treatment.

You are under no obligation to take part in the study and if you decide not to, it will not influence any treatment you are receiving presently or in the future. It is important to be aware that taking part in the study will not guarantee you receive treatment at a specialist centre. In order to be able to follow up on the difficulties people have accessing specialist treatment, we will need your name and contact details. This personal information will be safely stored and will not be accessed by anyone other than the researchers.

If you wish to take part, please go to the link below, which will lead you to a questionnaire concerning your OCD or BDD and the problems you have experienced. If you do not have internet access and would like to take part, please contact us (see below) and we can send or email you a paper copy of the questionnaire.

If you have any questions about the study, or would like to complete a paper copy of the questionnaire by post or email, please contact Dr Anna Stout on 0203 228 2101, or at

Contact: Dr Anna Stout
0203 228 2101