The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine is involved in numerous research studies, of which several focus on pharmaceutical trials that evaluate existing medications for new illnesses or completely new drugs to improve the effectiveness of treatment for those with mental illness.
One benefit associated with study participation is access to psychiatry for individuals who may have a difficult time getting to see area psychiatrists or other mental health clinicians. These studies also provide opportunities for learning about mental illness and for patients to be actively involved in the diagnosis, physical evaluations, psychological reviews of symptoms, and educational aspects of their illness.
These pharmaceutical-sponsored studies in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine include child and adolescent and adult investigations of Major depression, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia, both in the hospital and on an outpatient basis. Dr. Anita Kablinger is Principal Investigator on these studies and has 15 years of experience in the area of clinical trials.
The Department is also involved in a number of research projects to develop and evaluate better tools for the diagnosis and treatment of people with mental illness and those trying to more effectively manage chronic physical conditions. This work includes the development of a computer-based assessment tool for adolescent abusing drugs and alcohol. Another project looks at helping children in foster care to better tolerate their foster families with the hopes of more permanent placement and consequently improved attachment. Evaluating the effectiveness of interviewing patients in the Emergency Department through interactive television represents one adult-focused project, as does another that is assessing a skills training workshop to help cancer survivors improve their quality of life. Finally, Carilion patients are helping with a survey study to see what kind of incentives people believe would help them complete a weight loss program.