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Take part in our research

Take part in our research

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We currently have the following studies you can take part in. Please see the inclusion and exclusion criteria for each trial before contacting us.

PLUS Study - Personality and Living of University Students

 PLUS Logo

Starting university can be a fun and exciting time, but also stressful and demanding. This study will look at whether a specially-designed online programme can improve student wellbeing.

Taking part involves filling out online questionnaires and completing a series of online sessions. You’ll receive feedback on your questionnaire responses, and each time you complete a set on online questionnaires you’ll be entered into a raffle for an iPad.

 

Aims:

The PLUS study aims to investigate whether an online programme designed to help first-year uni students can improve wellbeing. 

 

What’s involved?

Participants are asked to complete a set of online questionnaires covering topics such as personality, mental health and health-related behaviours (e.g. alcohol consumption). After this, participants receive personalised feedback on their responses, and are given access to a series of online modules designed to support students during their first year at university. They are asked to work through these modules within a three-month period, and to fill out questionnaires four times over a 12-month period.

 

What’s in it for participants?

The online sessions are designed to help and support first-year students, and we hope participants will find the content useful and interesting. Participants also get feedback on their questionnaire responses, allowing them to learn more about themselves, their personality and their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, each time participants complete one of the online assessments, they’ll be entered into a raffle for an iPad.

 

Where will the study take place?

All parts of this study will be conducted online.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at a UK university.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Received psychological therapy or a psychiatric diagnosis in the past 12 months
  • Ever received a diagnosis of psychosis or bipolar disorder.

 

Contact

If you are interested in participating or would like further information, please contact Madeleine Irish (madeleine.irish@kcl.ac.uk) or visit our project website (https://www.icare-online.eu/en/Plus.html)

 

Funding

The project is part of ICare, a European-wide research project funded by the European Commission, which aims to implement internet-based interventions that prevent mental health problems in different settings across Europe https://www.icare-online.eu/en/icare.html

                 EU Commission Logo

We Can Study - web-based intervention for carers of individuals with anorexia nervosa


ICARE LogoWe Can – A randomised controlled trial of a web-based intervention for carers of individuals with anorexia nervosa

Carers of people with anorexia nervosa play an important role in recovery, but often feel ill equipped to effectively support their loved one. This can have a negative impact on both the person with anorexia, and the mental health of their carer. We have developed and evaluated We Can, a web-based skills training programme, designed to support carers of people with anorexia.

 

Aims

This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of a web-based skills package (‘We Can’) to support carers of individuals with anorexia nervosa, and to look at how different levels of support within the intervention may affect the results. We are interested in how the We Can skills package affects both the carer using the package, and also the person with anorexia whom they care for.

 

What’s involved?

Carers of adults with anorexia will be able to participate in an online skills programme, which they can access anywhere with an internet connection. Participation consists of;

  • Completion of 8 online interactive modules over a 12-week period
  • Access to an online chat forum with other carers
  • Completion of 4 sets of online questionnaires over a 12-month period

Carers will be randomly allocated to one of three conditions within the study, with all carers receiving access to the 8 modules and chat forum.

Adults with anorexia whose carers are participating in the programme will also have the opportunity to complete a set of 4 online questionnaires over a 12-month period. 

 

How long does it take?

The total duration of the study is 12 months, with participants completing the 8 online modules over a 12-week period.

 

Where will the study take place?

All parts of this study will be conducted online.

 

Inclusion Criteria

Carers

  • Aged 18+
  • Providing unpaid care for an adult (aged 16+) with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa
  • Fluent in English

Participants with anorexia

  • Have a current diagnosis of anorexia nervosa, OR have been recently been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, while currently meeting the criteria for another eating disorder (for example, individuals who have been recently weight-restored, but would meet all other criteria for anorexia nervosa).
  • Aged 16+
  • Fluent in English

 

Exclusion Criteria

Carers

  • Caring for a person with an eating disorder other than anorexia, who has never been diagnosed with anorexia
  • Carer currently suffering from an eating disorder
  • Unable to read and understand English

Participants with anorexia

  • Never having received a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa
  • Currently dependent on alcohol or drugs
  • Diagnosed with a current major psychological disorder, which would interfere with the participants’ ability to participate
  • Under the age of 16

 

Contact

For further information, please contact: lucy.spencer@kcl.ac.uk

 

Funding

The project is part of ICare, a European-wide research project funded by the European Commission, which aims to implement internet-based interventions that prevent mental health problems in different settings across Europe https://www.icare-online.eu/en/icare.html

EU Commission Logo

FABCAT: Food-Attention Bias Computerized Attention Training for Anorexia Nervosa

This project is an investigation into the therapeutic effects of a computerized attention training for patients with Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Such attention training, derived from clinical psychology research, has had promising effects on symptom reduction in other disorders such as depression and anxiety.

 

Aims:

The primary aim is to determine if a computerized attention training improves treatment outcomes, such as eating disorder symptoms and related difficulties, such as anxiety. Our secondary aim is to explore underlying mechanisms that contribute to these improvements. This will help us to determine if such a training could become part of usual clinical care for people with eating disorders.

 

What’s involved?

During a first assessment (baseline) participants will undergo a 1h-MRI scan, some questionnaires and some computer tasks. This session will last for about 3h (including MRI scan). 
Participants will then be assigned to either the experimental condition or a control condition of our attention training module which consists of three sessions usually within two weeks (approximately 30 minutes each).  
After the last training session, all participants will complete a post-assessment session involving the same measures as the pre-assessment (including another 1h-MRI scan). Four weeks after this assessment, participants will be contacted for a brief follow-up questionnaire and an online survey. Both follow-up measures can be completed online (e.g. at home).

 

Inclusion criteria:

You are eligible to take part if you:

  • are female and aged 18 or older
  • have a BMI less than 18.5
  • have a current diagnosis of AN-restricting type, AN-binge/purging type or EDNOS-anorexia type.

 

Exclusion criteria:

You are not eligible to take part if you are, or ever have been:

  • on a dose of any psychoactive medication that has not been stable for at least 14 days prior to participation in the study
  • experiencing another major psychiatric disorder (eg major depressive disorder, substance dependence, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder) needing treatment in its own right
  • experiencing learning and developmental impairments.

 

Compensation:
You will be compensated with £75 for your time and efforts of participating upon successful completion of all parts of this study and the follow-up assessment.

Contact: 

Email: daniela.mercado_beivide@kcl.ac.uk

Phone: 0207 848 5608

CytAN: Cytokines in individuals with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa

This project aims to understand the role of the immune system, specifically cytokines, in anorexia nervosa. Our brain and behaviour are influenced by the immune system. Cytokines are important messenger molecules in the immune system. There are many different types of cytokines with different roles. They can be measured in the blood and can tell us a lot about inflammation in the body. Research has shown that individuals with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa tend to have elevated levels of certain cytokines in their blood. However, very few cytokines have been measured and there are a number of cytokines that are important for the immune system and the brain that have never been measured in individuals with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. Also, we do not know whether cytokine levels are different in individuals with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa who have different clinical characteristics. These include factors such as illness duration, eating disorder symptom severity, and severity of co-existing disorders (e.g. depression).

 

Aims:

In this study, we want to measure a large range of cytokines to find out if the level of cytokines differs between healthy control participants and individuals with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. We also want to investigate whether cytokine levels are related to certain clinical characteristics. This study will help us to understand if cytokines are involved in the underlying biology of anorexia nervosa. As there are medications available to influence cytokine production, cytokine levels and cytokine effects, our research may lead to the development of future treatments to help with anorexia nervosa.

 

What’s involved?

Once you have read and understood the information sheet you will have a brief phone call with a researcher to check your eligibility. If you are eligible you will arrange a 1-hour research session at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London (London, SE5 8AF). In this session, you will complete a short questionnaire pack, have your height, weight and body composition measured, and you will provide blood samples. All data will be kept anonymous.

 

Who can take part?

Inclusion criteria - You are eligible to take part if you:

  • Are a female aged 18 or older
  • Have a current diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) less than 18.5kg/m2.
  • Are fluent in English

 

Exclusion criteria - You are not eligible to take part if you:

  • Have current acute or chronic inflammatory conditions (e.g. asthma, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease)
  • Are pregnant

 

Compensation:

You will be reimbursed £5 for your time and efforts.

 

How can you take part?

If you are interested in taking part, or would like more information, you can contact Olivia or Bethan at:

Email: olivia.patsalos@kcl.ac.uk               Phone: 0207 848 5977

Email: bethan.l.dalton@kcl.ac.uk             Phone: 0207 848 0183

 

ICARUS - Investigating Concurrent Cognitive Bias Modification Training and Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Binge Eating Disorder

Aims

Cognitive training programmes and non-invasive brain stimulation techniques have each shown promise in research trials that treat symptoms of eating disorders. This study aims to investigate the feasibility of combining approach bias modification training (ABM) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to treat binge eating disorder. It will evaluate if concurrent sessions of [ABM + real tDCS] are superior to [ABM + sham tDCS] and the wait-list control group in terms of reducing symptoms of binge eating disorder such as frequency of objective binge eating episodes and food cravings.

 

What’s involved?

Participation consists of;

  • Completion of 3 assessment sessions across 7 weeks
  • After the baseline assessment, participants will be randomly allocated to one of three study conditions
  • Participants assigned to one of the two intervention conditions will be asked to attend 6 sessions where they will perform the ABM task while receiving either real or placebo tDCS, in addition to completing the post-treatment and follow-up assessments. This brain stimulation technique is widely used and considered safe.
  • Participants assigned to the control group will not receive any intervention, and will be asked to attend the post-treatment and follow-up assessments.
  • Participants in the control group will be offered the opportunity to receive [ABM + real tDCS] after the follow-up assessment at 7 weeks

 

How long does it take?

  • All participants in both the intervention and control groups of the study will complete 3 assessment sessions across 7 weeks, comprised of an in-person visit (75 minutes) and online questionnaires to complete at home (45 minutes).
  • Participants in the intervention groups will attend 6 sessions of combined cognitive training and tDCS across 3 weeks, lasting 40-50 minutes per session.

 

Where will the study take place?

All parts of this study will be conducted in the KCL Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in Denmark Hill, except for the initial study screening over the phone.

 

Inclusion Criteria

•    Male and female community-dwelling adults

•    Aged between 18 and 70

•    Diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder

•    BMI greater than 25 kg/m²

 

Exclusion Criteria

  • Individuals with a significant/unstable medical or psychiatric disorders needing acute treatment in its own right (e.g., substance dependence, acute suicidality)
  • Individuals taking antidepressant medication who have not been on a stable dose for at least 2 weeks
  • Individuals with a history of epileptic seizures, stroke, or brain injury, who have any implanted metal devices in the head, frequent or severe headaches or dizziness
  • Individuals who smoke >10 cigarettes per day
  • Individuals who drink >3-4 units (men) or 2-3 units (women) of alcohol per day

Additional excluding criteria may apply and inclusion will be determined by the study screening.

 

Compensation:

All participants are reimbursed £30 for completing the 3 assessments, and travel expenses for the 6 intervention sessions will be covered up to £10 per visit.

 

Contact

For further information, please contact: gemma.gordon@kcl.ac.uk

 

 



 

 

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