TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ‚ The psychology department at The University of Alabama is seeking volunteers who are taking antidepressant medication to take part in a new research study involving self-help treatment for depression. Qualified volunteers will receive free treatment as part of the research project.
To qualify, volunteers must be continuing to experience symptoms of depression despite taking medication. Symptoms of depression include feeling depressed, down, blue, or irritable; loss of interest in activities one used to find enjoyable; changes in appetite; difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much; loss of energy; difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions; and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.
The study is being conducted by Dr. Forrest Scogin, UA professor of psychology, and graduate student Noelle Rohen. Scogin has conducted extensive research on self-help treatment for depression.
“The treatment provided in this study will consist of reading and working through a self-help manual that helps participants learn and use techniques similar to those used in individual treatment with a therapist,” Rohen said.
The manual is based on cognitive therapy for depression, which focuses on the link between what people think and how they feel. Rohen said cognitive therapy is one of the most well-researched and effective treatments for depression. Volunteers for the study will receive this treatment free through UAís Psychological Clinic.
Rohen said depression is a very common problem, affecting as many as 25 percent of women and 12 percent of men over the lifetime. Antidepressant medications are generally very effective in treating the symptoms; however as many as one-third of people who take medication report that they continue to experience symptoms of depression or do not feel back to normal. Rohen said recent research has shown that the combination of medication plus therapy can be more effective than medication alone in reducing symptoms. The goal of the new UA study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a self-administered therapy for depression.
This study has been reviewed and approved by the UA Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Subjects.
For more information or to volunteer, call Rohen at 205/348-5000.
Cathy Andreen, Director of Media Relations, 205/348-8322
Noelle Rohen, 205/348-5000