Anxiety Research

Research into anxiety

How does your heart influence your mental health?

What is the research about?
Some of our recent work has shown that heartbeat timing can affect how we process information. In particular, we have found that the timing of the heart affects how we judge facial expressions and memory for words. For example, we have shown that pictures of faces looking fearful (when flashed up very briefly on a screen) are easier to detect and recognize when the heart is making a beat, compared to between heartbeats. This effect, which we call the cardiac control of fear in brain (CCFIB), is present in most people but is stronger in some people compared to others. Because CCFIB changes how fear and safety is learned, knowing how and why this is the case is important as it may improve ways of treating anxiety and other symptoms, and help doctors pick the most effective medicines for anxiety. We are interested in the relationship between CCFIB and anxiety symptoms.

Am I eligible?
We want to invite people who suffer from (or have previously suffered from) mental health problems, who are aged 18-65, and who use (or who have previously used) mental health services in Sussex, to take part in a study to help us explore this relationship further.

Unfortunately, we are unable to include people with a significant history of cognitive impairment or a neurological condition, and those with alcohol intake on the day of participation.

What will happen to me if I take part?
You will be asked to complete some questionnaires, which may take up to an hour. Then you will be asked to complete two computer tests, which will take approximately 45 minutes. The questionnaires measure symptom pattern and severity, quality of life, medical history, reading ability and body perception. The computer tests require application of finger sensors to measure pulse. In total, the whole study should take approximately 2 hours.

You may be given an additional option of taking part in a ‘sleep quality’ extension of the study. If you decide to take part in this extension, you will be asked to come to the university on two consecutive days, rather than on one day as described above. On the first day, you will complete the questionnaires. We will then ask you to wear an ‘actigraph’ watch for the next 24 hours (approximately), which will give us a measure of your sleep quality that evening. The next day, you will return to the university to return the actigraph watch and to complete the two computer tests.

As part of this study you may be asked if we can contact you to see if you wish to participate in a follow-up research study. This would take place in approximately 6-18 months, and involves a set (approximately 1 hour) of written questions which will be sent by post, completed on-line, or in the clinic, as you prefer.

As compensation for your time spent taking part in the study, you will receive £15.00 for taking part in the 1st stage of the study (for those involved in the sleep quality extension of the study, you will receive this on the second visit) and a further £7.50 for taking part in the follow-up study (based on a payment of £7.50 per hour).

Who do I contact?
We hope you feel able to take part in our study. If you have any questions or would like more information about the study, please contact the Braveheart Study Team:; 01273 265921.

Comparing repetitive behaviours in people with OCD and people with autism

Do you have OCD (or autism) are you over 18 and can you spare some time to complete a questionnaire? Or do you know someone who has OCD, is over 18 and might be able to spare some time to complete a study?

The similarities and differences in repetitive behaviours in people with OCD and people with autism are still not very well understood. Neither is the rate of OCD in people with autism. Due to my personal interests in both OCD and autism, I am self-funding a PhD which hopes to address both of these issues.

We require as many adults with a diagnosis of OCD (or autism, but not both) as possible to complete a new online study by following the link You can also take part if you do not have OCD or autism. Further information is on this site.

The study can take as little as 20 minutes but more likely around an hour for people who show a lot of repetitive/OCD behaviours. You don’t have to complete the study in one attempt as there is an option to “finish later” on each question. I would greatly appreciate your help and hope in return for your time that I can help to develop a better understanding of OCD and repetitive behaviours.

Thank you for your time,

Sam Chegwin

If you have any further questions please contact the researcher, Sam Chegwin at:





Lived Experience of Social Anxiety Disorder

My name is Louise Boyle and I am a research student at the University of Glasgow. My research is looking at the everyday experiences of living with Social Anxiety Disorder. I am particularly interested in:

· How different situations, places and spaces impact on, and are impacted by, social anxiety
· Particular coping techniques and ways of anxiety management that you use
· Your use of the Internet and digital technologies and how this impacts your life offline

What is involved?
The study will involve approximately 30 minutes of your time to complete an anonymous online questionnaire (link below). There is the option to take part in further research in a follow-up interview. You will be asked about this at the end of the questionnaire. All your information will be held confidentially and you will not be identifiable. You will be assigned a different name if your responses are used in research outputs. You can change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time. Please read the information sheet attached to the questionnaire thoroughly.

If you have social anxiety which has had an impact on your day-to-day life, and would like to share your past and on-going experiences with this research project please take part in the following questionnaire:

Do not feel limited by the questions asked, if you have aspects of your experience which are important to you, please feel free to share them with me.

Deadline: October 2017.

If you require any further information or wish to get in touch about other ways to participate, please contact me.

Thank you,
Louise Boyle

Living with depression and/or anxiety?

Do you live with or have you recently suffered from depression and/or anxiety? If yes, then I would love to hear from you.

I am a journalist who has lived with depression and anxiety for several years and am writing a book on the subject. I am conducting research for the book and am looking to interview people who suffer from these conditions. I am planning to include these interviews as case studies.

The book will focus on the everyday experiences of depression and anxiety rather than a medical approach.

If you:

– Are suffering/ have recently suffered from depression and/or generalised anxiety disorder/ social anxiety disorder

– Are based in the UK

– Are willing to speak honestly and openly about your experiences, both the good and the bad

Please get in touch via the contact details below.


All interviews will be treated as confidential.

Contact details:

Rajeshree Sisodia
Twitter: @Rajeshree3

The use of digital technologies in situations of uncertainty, discomfort and stress.

I am an anthropologist looking at digital technology use in situations of discomfort and stress.

I would like to speak to over 18’s about how they use their mobile devices when faced with low levels of anxiety.

Research methods:
Interviews: 30 minutes – 1 hour. In person, via email, Skype or phone call. Audio recorded.

• Any author/ academic on your site who researches technology use and anxiety.
• Any individuals who use mobile technologies or laptops to deal with low levels of
anxiety, stress or discomfort in particular situations. (amongst strangers, unfamiliar
settings, moments before an exam or job interview)

Example questions:
• What devices do you use?
• How do you use them in uncomfortable situations? (Instant messaging, internet
browsing, games)
• What types of situations do you use them in?
• Why do you use this technology and how does it make you feel?
• Are there any situations you would feel it is inappropriate to use a device?

Ethical considerations:
This research is concerned with mild to low-level anxiety or stress that people deal with on a day- to-day basis. Unfortunately due to the level of ethical clearance granted by my university, I will be unable to speak to anyone suffering from any types of anxiety disorders, post traumatic stress or any other mental illness.

If you would like to contribute to this research please email me at or spend a few minutes completing this short questionnaire:

Deadline: Mid September 2016

Contact details:

James Hayle
Master of Science in Digital Anthropology, University College London. Mobile:
+447817 467706


Fear of Nature – Experiences Needed

Are you afraid of trees or the forest? Lakes, ponds or oceans? Soil? Do the apparently unthreatening things in nature make you flinch? If so, you are the person I’m looking for.

I’m a Finnish, currently Scotland, St Andrews based artist and I’m making an art piece titled Biophobia for the UNFIX Festival of Performance and Ecology (CCA, Glasgow, 2015). The text material for the piece is based on fears and phobias of seemingly unthreatening natural phenomena: natural bodies of water, forest or trees, and soil. I’m interested in finding out what it feels like to be afraid of those parts of nature, what is the frightening thing in them, what triggers the fear etc. I find that there is sensitivity in the phobic reaction, even though it makes it difficult for the person him/her self to connect with nature. The verbalized fears could help us to see the life in another living thing.

It would benefit the piece and it’s purpose a great deal if I’d have the words and stories of people living in Britain in it. That could bring it closer to the spectators/listeners in Glasgow.

I’m asking now if you would be willing to talk to me / write to me about your fears. Any little detail or short anecdote is helpful, regardless of whether you have merely a dislike or a severe phobia. It can be just one line, a long story, or anything in between. I use all the materials anonymously, I won’t use your voice, picture or name, and it could all be done through email, if you prefer.

You can find the UNFIX Festival website and my own artist’s page here:

On UNFIX Festival page you’ll find info about Biophobia under my name.

I’m happy to give you more information about the project if needed. I would be very grateful if you could share your fears, feelings and experiences.

Nora Rinne, artist

Phone: 07454162757

Do you have Anxiety? Can you help with our research?

Professor Paul Salkovskis and his team at the University of Bath are doing a research project looking at people’s difficult interpersonal experiences, and how these experiences might relate to their psychological difficulties.
We are looking for people with different kinds of anxiety disorders to help us by taking part in our research before the end of July 2015.
What is the research for?
We want to explore the relationship between difficult interpersonal experiences and psychological difficulties such as OCD, anxiety and depression, in order to increase our understanding and potentially to generate ideas about how to help individuals who experience psychological disorders.

Who can take part?
If you have received treatment for depression or anxiety in the past year, or are currently receiving or awaiting treatment, you might be eligible to take part in our study. This can be in the form of treatment from your GP, or talking therapies such as CBT or counselling.

Who should not take part?
If you currently have Post-Traumatic-Stress Disorder (PTSD), psychosis or you deliberately harm yourself, we advise that you not volunteer to help us with our research. This is because we will be asking you to remember times that you have been let down or betrayed by others, which may trigger difficult feelings, and we do not want to put anybody at undue risk.

What will I have to do?
If you would like to take part, please email Rowena Pagdin at the address given below. She will send you out some more information, and answer any questions that you may have. If after this you would like to participate, she will send you a link to complete the questionnaires online.

What kind of questions will you ask?
Questions will ask how you feel about yourself, and how you feel about others. Although we will not ask you to go into detail, some of the questions are concerned with times when you have had your trust broken by others, and might make you feel upset.

How long will it take?
The questionnaire pack will take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete.

How will I benefit?
Apart from our gratitude, we will send you a £5 voucher as a thank you.

You information will be held under that 1998 Data Protection Act, and all data will be anonymised. No one other than the researchers will know that you have participated.

If you have any questions or would like more information before deciding to take part, please contact Rowena Pagdin at and she can mail or ring you back, if you would prefer. You can also visit for more information.


Research into Therapy

We are looking to examine what occurs in therapy and your personal experiences with therapy.  We’re asking you to speak about your most recent complete treatment experience, not on-going treatment.  Completed treatment experiences also include treatment that ended early.  To ensure that we are able to get the most accurate view possible, please answer the questions as honestly and accurately as possible.


 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 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


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



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



How can caring for someone with a mental illness impact the immediate family

Aim of the study
This study aims to interview family members who are currently or who have cared for someone with a mental illness. It aims to explore the impact mental illness can have on others, how it has changed the carers home life and relationships, along with how they feel mental illness are perceived by others.

What would it involve?
The study will involve a semi structured interview either by phone or face to face depending on what you prefer. The interview could take between 30 minutes to an hour. It is also completely confidential, the transcripts will be destroyed once the research has commenced along with any names changed to protect anonymity. The interview can be stopped at anytime and any questions can be avoided if you are uncomfortable answering.

Contact Person: Joanne Fitzpatrick
Phone: 07769201498



Effects of emotion and load on eye movements and pupillary responses

Individuals between the ages of 18 and 30, who do not wear hard contact lenses or two/tri-focal glasses are required for working memory-guided eye movement and pupillary response study. The study will take 1.5 hours to complete and will involve computer-based eye movement generation tasks and online questionnaires to be completed after experiment. During experiment, as well as your eye movements, pupil diameters will be tracked and measured.

What is the research about?
The aim of the study is to explore how emotion and cognitive load affect visuo-spatial working memory and attention allocation of anxious and non-anxious individuals in terms of saccade accuracies, latencies and pupillary responses. Generally speaking, it is aimed to examine the effects of anxiety on working memory guided eye movements and pupillary responses.

What will happen to me if I take part?
The study will consist of two sessions, involving eye tracking and pupillary response measurement and online questionnaires. You will be asked to place your head onto a chin rest and respond to stimuli presented on a display monitor. You will be presented a face stimulus and you will be asked to encode the location of that stimulus. After some delay, you will be are asked to generate saccades towards or away from that stimulus.

Are there any benefits in my taking part?
You’ll receive a monetary reward of £10 for your contribution.

Are there any risks involved?
Since eye and pupil tracking are non-invasive measures, you may only feel a minimal, non-hazardous discomfort (eye-strain).

Will my participation be confidential?
You will be given a unique identifiying number for the experiment, which will be disconnected from your name. All data will therefore be stored in an anonymised format.

What happens if I change my mind?
You may withdraw your consent at any time. You will not be penalised for this.

Where can I get more information?

Contact: Piril Hepsomali


Why Worry: Exploring thoughts and feelings around social situations

What is the study about…
We are conducting research at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and we are looking for people who have social anxiety to participate in our study. The research is investigating why and how people might experience social anxiety symptoms.
We are looking for…
English-speaking volunteers aged 18 and 65, who experience social anxiety.
If you do meet the above requirement and you would like to find out more, please contact us. We will send you an information sheet about the study and if you wish to participate we would be happy to call you to answer any questions you might have, and to ask you a few questions to see if you would be eligible to participate.
The study involves…
The research study will involve you attending for an appointment at the Institute of Psychiatry in Denmark Hill (in South London). During the appointment we will ask you about symptoms you may be experiencing. We will also ask you to complete some questionnaires and activities. The appointment will take several hours. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have breaks. We will reimburse up to £20 as a thank you payment.

Contact details:
Please contact Lisa (Yuanyuan) Huo if you would like more information.
Contact email:



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