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Participate in an anti-anxiety research study

Breathing perception and its relationship to anxiety: Measuring the effects of acute exercise

You are invited to take part in a study evaluating changes in mood and other assessments in response to a bout of aerobic or stretching-based exercise.

Are you eligible?

  • Have an anxiety score that is above average (measured during the prescreening)
  • Be between 18 and 45 years of age
  • Meet the study safety requirements
  • Free to attend two exercise sessions at times that suit your schedule
  • Currently not involved in much organised sport or fitness activity (≤1 per week for the last 6 months or more)
  • Not be taking any current medication (except for the oral contraceptive pill)
  • A non-smoker or a light smoker (who does not smoke more than once per week)
  • Have full colour vision (i.e. not colour-blind)
  • Not suffering from any chronic medical disorders, including any current or past history of a severe brain injury or breathing disorder e.g. severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc.
  • No past or current diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, drug addiction or psychosis
  • For women only: Not pregnant or breastfeeding

What does the study involve?

  • 1x Baseline measurements and exercise session (2.5 hours)
  • 1x Perform an exercise test either on a stationary bicycle or an a treadmill

To recognise the actual or reasonable costs involved with participating in this project, all participants will be reimbursed $60 in total.

Interested?

Please contact Dr Olivia Harrison for further information, or see our participant information sheet.
Email olivia.harrison@otago.ac.nz

Participant information sheet (PDF)

Whether or not you take part is your choice. If you do want to take part now, but change your mind later, you can pull out of the study at any time.

Ethics approval: 20/CEN/168

Breathing perception and its relationship to anxiety: Measuring the effects of antidepressants on behaviour

Do you worry a lot? Are you being prescribed an anti-anxiety medication? Or would you like an assessment of your anxiety?

We are investigating the effect of anti-anxiety medication on reducing anxiety symptoms, as well as breathing perception and its relationship to anxiety. This research will help us understand how the treatment works, and how we can best use it in the future to help people cope with their anxiety.

Are you eligible?

  • Aged between 18 and 45 years.
  • Have a new prescription for an anti-anxiety medication that is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), such as sertraline or citalopram.
  • Have full colour vision.
  • Not suffering from any chronic medical disorders, including any current or past history of a severe brain injury or breathing disorder e.g. severe asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc.
  • No past or current diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, drug addiction or psychosis.
  • Not pregnant or breastfeeding.

What does the study involve?

  • 1 × eligibility and introduction session (30mins – either by phone or in person)
  • 2 × assessments (3 hours each) – before and after taking your anti-anxiety medication for 6 weeks

You will be reimbursed for your time spent in the assessments ($150 total).

Interested?

Please contact Dr Olivia Harrison for further information, or see our participant information sheet.

Email olivia.harrison@otago.ac.nz

Participant information sheet (PDF)

Whether or not you take part is your choice. If you do want to take part now, but change your mind later, you can pull out of the study at any time.

Ethics approval: 20/CEN/168/AM01
Clinical trial registration: ANZCTR12620000952943

Ketamine and Brain Imaging in Patients with Treatment Resistant Anxiety

Do you suffer from generalized anxiety (GAD) or social anxiety (SAD) that has not responded to standard treatment? Would you like to try a medicine called Ketamine?

Ketamine has been used for over 40 years for a number of purposes. At very high doses, it is used as an anaesthetic; at lower doses it can relieve pain.

There is growing evidence that low-dose Ketamine can lead to improvement in both depression and anxiety, and in this clinical trial we are seeking to validate it as a viable treatment for the more severe versions of these disorders.

Are you eligible?

  • Aged between 18 and 45 years
  • You have either GAD (generalized anxiety) or SAD (social anxiety) that has not responded to standard treatment (psychotherapy and/or medication)
  • In good general health
  • You meet study safety requirements

What does the study involve?

4 visits to the clinic over approximately one week:

  • Visit 1 (1 and a half to 3 and a half hours) – computer task and test dose of ketamine if needed
  • Visit 2 (2 hours) – assessments and MRI
  • Visit 3 (4 and a half hours) assessments and administration of study drug, EEGs and MRI
  • Visit 4 (2 hours) – assessments, EEG and MRI

You will be reimbursed with vouchers to the value of $200.00 for time spent participating in this study.

Interested?

Please contact Assoc. Prof. Bruce Russell for further information, or see our participant information sheet.

Email bruce.russell@otago.ac.nz

Participant information sheet (PDF)

Whether or not you take part is your choice. If you do want to take part now, but change your mind later, you can pull out of the study at any time.

Ethics approval: 17/STH/143

The relationship between intrinsic motivations, personality traits and mental health

The aim of the project is to investigate the relationship between each person’s underlying motivations (such as the need for self-assertion, integration and security etc.) and personality traits, and their individual and combined associations with mental health. Understanding the links between (potentially unfulfilled) motivations, personality and mental health will help us to better evaluate and treat conditions such as anxiety and depression in New Zealand.

Are you eligible?

  • Members of the general public and Psychology students from the University of Otago with an age range of 18-50 will be invited to participate in this study
  • Psychology students will have the option of crediting their involvement towards their course requirements
  • Participants must be fluent English speakers and be able to provide written and informed consent prior to taking part in the study

What does the study involve?

  • 1x online survey (45 minutes)

All participants will be asked if they would like to receive a summary of their results and/or be entered into a prize draw ($100 of supermarket vouchers for one in every 100 participants).

Interested?

Please contact Dr Olivia Harrison for further information, or see our participant information sheet.
Email olivia.harrison@otago.ac.nz

Participant information sheet (PDF)

Whether or not you take part is your choice. If you do want to take part now, but change your mind later, you can pull out of the study at any time.