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Health

A virtual reality study of depression

This study is no longer recruiting

What is the study about?

Finding a treatment for depression that works is currently based on trial and error, because some treatments work for some individuals, but not others. The aim of this study is to find better ways to predict how well a treatment works for a particular person (i.e. predicts response to treatment). We have previously found some psychological tests and cognitive tasks that could be useful in predicting response to treatment. So far, no one has combined these to see whether they could be practically useful.

What would you have to do?

Participate in a computer test session using a headset through which you will see interactive scenes (so called “virtual reality”). You can either choose to do the task at our lab at King’s College London or at your own home. After you complete the task, we might ask you a few questions regarding your experiences during the task. The study takes around an hour in total. In addition, we would send you some online questionnaires which assesses your depressive symptoms once a month (four months in total).

What are the benefits for you?

There are no direct benefits for you. It is you who will benefit the progress of medical research. You can make an important contribution to a better understanding of depression and its treatment by participating in our research project. However, we can reimburse your travel costs and time taken. You will receive £5 voucher for completing the baseline assessment, £10 for completing the cognitive tasks and another £10 for completing the final follow-up assessment. If you choose to come to our lab to do the cognitive tasks, you can get additional £10 voucher for travel costs. In addition, we will give you access to the results of all tests performed.

If you are interested in participating, please contact us by email or complete the online pre-assessment below.

We are looking for participants with depression. To be eligible, you need to:

  • Have tried at least one antidepressant and are looking to review your current medication (for participants with depression only)
  • Have no personal history of bipolar or psychotic disorders
  • Have no current or history of neurological disorders
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be able to do the virtual reality task
  • Have no current or history of substance or alcohol abuse

We are also looking for control participants who have never had depression. To be eligible, you need to:

  • Have no personal or family history of major depression, bipolar or psychotic disorders
  • Have no current or history of neurological disorders
  • Be 18 years older
  • Be able to do the virtual reality task
  • Have no current or history of substance or alcohol abuse
Project status: Ongoing

Investigators

Roland Zahn

Roland Zahn

Reader in the Neurocognitive Bases of Mood Disorders

Contact

Suqian Duan, PhD student

Dr Roland Zahn (Chief Investigator)