Clinical Research Experiences
Psychophysiology of and Affect Recognition in Social Anxiety Disorder
Cheryl Carmin, Ph.D.
Research examining the psychophysiology of social
anxiety disorder has typically involved assessing heart rate during a public speaking task. These studies have produced mixed results. In this NIMH-funded study, subjects diagnosed with
social anxiety disorder, along with non-clinical controls, will complete several self-report measures as well as an affect recognition task. During baseline and task periods, the location of their eye gaze, heart rate variability, and skin conductance will be recorded. In this study, the affect recognition task involves subjects watching a series of video clips of people whose expressions ‘morph’ from neutral to one of six target expressions. We hypothesize that anxiety disorder subjects will gaze avert in response to angry expressions. In addition, we expect that the anxious subjects will have reduced heart rate variability and a difference in skin conductance as well has have reduced accuracy and greater latency in their identification of emotions when compared with controls.
Depending upon where in the process of the study we are, interns can be involved in data collection and learn how to use the psychophysiology assessment equipment. Extracting the data from the recording equipment and determining whether there are artifacts using the CardioEdit program is also a part of the training. Interns can also become involved in data analysis.
Effects of Estradial and Soy on Menopausal Symptoms
Cheryl Carmin, Ph.D.
"Effects of Estradiol and Soy on
Menopausal Symptoms" is a newly NIH-funded R01 investigation awarded to
Pauline Maki(PI). This clinical trial looks at the effects of
phytoestrogens (Novasoy 400), estradiol, and placebo on different menopausal
symptoms, including hot flashes and daily anxiety in perimenopausal
women. The study lasts 16-18 weeks per participant, including 12 weeks
of treatment with the previously noted compounds. During this
time, participants will wear hot flash monitors, complete diaries of daily
anxiety, complete safety check-ups and make four visits to the University of
Illinois at Chicago to complete tests of daily anxiety, stress responsivity
and various cognitive abiliteis.
Interns will work with Dr.Carmin (Co-I) in
administering structured, diagnostic clinical interviews and can become involved in
the project pending Dr.Maki's approval. If interns are not already
familiar with the administration of the SCID, they will learn how to
reliably administer this instrument.
Stress & Anxiety Disorders
Drs. Carmin, Frances
The Stress & Anxiety Disorders Clinic is a subspecialty clinic within the Mood & Anxiety Disorders Program. The faculty members affiliated with the clinic offer our trainees supervised training in cognitive behavioral treatment (or more generally, empirically supported treatments) for adults with a primary anxiety disorder diagnosis. Within the scope of the clinic, all new patients are evaluated using a structured diagnostic screening interview and patients complete diagnosis-specific self-report measures that are part of the evaluation. These measures can then be used as a means of gauging treatment progress as well as forming the foundation for a multiple baseline assessment. Interns are encouraged to utilize established treatment manuals for the basis of their treatment intervention(s) and, with the input of their supervisor, to adapt the manual to the specific needs of their patient. While the primary mode of treatment is individual CBT, group treatment is also offered. Depending on staffing availability, intensive outpatient and, on occasion, inpatient experiences are available.
Interns participate in all aspects of the treatment process. If they are not already familiar with structured clinical interviewing, they will acquire skills in this area. In addition to individual and group treatment, interns can be involved with a team approach to intensive outpatient and inpatient treatment should we have patients that are in need of these latter forms of treatment. Prospective interns should note that the primary theoretical orientation that they will be expected to use is cognitive behavioral (and can include extensions of this model such as mindfulness, ACT, etc.). Because the clinic strongly endorses an empirically oriented approach, there are numerous opportunities to engage in treatment outcome research, especially in the area of effectiveness research and N = 1 studies. Interns are expected to attend and participate in clinic meetings the content of which reflects research and administrative issues as well as clinical case presentations.