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Research in Mental Health

Here at the Providence VA Medical Center (PVAMC) there are various studies taking place across the field of mental health. Taking part in research studies can be interesting for you and contributes to helping others by advancing scientists knowledge. Mental health researchers at the PVAMC are currently looking for volunteers to participate in research studies related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anger, guilt, and schizophrenia.

PTSD Research Opportunities

PTSD is a mental health problem that can occur after someone goes through a traumatic event like war, assault, an accident or disaster.  After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is common to have reactions such as upsetting memories of the event, increased jumpiness, or trouble sleeping.  Listed below are several studies being conducted at the PVAMC, which focus on PTSD.

Virtual Reality:  A team of researchers led by Drs. Philip and Mascha Frank are looking for Veterans between the ages of 18 to 70 to participate in a study that examines whether the use of a low electrical current on the scalp makes it easier to watch combat deployment scenes using virtual reality in Veterans with PTSD. The study involves up to thirteen visits, where participants will be asked to answer questions about their mental health and current problems, engage in a virtual reality experience of Iraq or Afghanistan, and have two MRI scans. Additionally, there are two optional visits as a part of this study; an EEG and a follow-up MRI. Participants are compensated for their time and effort.

Learn more about PTSD & Virtual Reality

Woman sitting at a computer screen and woman sitting with headgear on

Trauma Related Research Studies

After a trauma or life-threatening event, it is also common to experience feelings of anger or guilt.  In addition to the studies listed above, researchers at the PVAMC are looking for volunteers that have been exposed to a traumatic event that may not have a diagnosis of PTSD, who experience feelings of guilt, regret, and/or anger.

woman and man sitting at a table talking

Guilt: Dr. Capone and her research team are recruiting male and female OEF/OIF/OND Veterans who are endorsing significant distress related to an event that happened on deployment.  All participants will receive 6 sessions of individual psychotherapy and will be compensated for their time upon completing the research assessments.  Of note, Veterans do NOT need to have any particular mental health diagnosis (e.g. PTSD) in order to participate. The primary aim of this study is to reduce guilt.

Learn more about Project "Trauma Informed Guilt Reduction (TriGR) Intervention"