Volunteers Needed for Self-Help Depression Treatment Study

  • March 17th, 2004

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Volunteers between ages 18 and 60 are needed for a University of Alabama study investigating whether a nationally popular self-help method for depression is effective.

In addition to treatment at no cost, accepted participants receive self-help treatment materials they may keep. Those interested in participating in the study or in learning more may call 205/348-1921. Those taking medications for depression are eligible to participate in the study as are those not taking medication. Those receiving other psychotherapy treatments are not eligible.

In the study, UA psychology graduate student Jennifer Karpe, under the guidance of Dr. Forrest Scogin, professor of psychology, is investigating whether a new version of the “Feeling Good” self-help program is effective in treating depression.

Although self-help books are immensely popular, little research has been done on which ones work best. The UA project attempts to determine the degree to which the expanded version helps in the treatment of depression.

Initially developed for TIME-LIFE video, the revised program includes audiotapes, a video and multiple workbooks. The original version, “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy,” was authored by Dr. David Burns and published in 1980 as a self-help book. More than two million copies are in print, according to the author’s Web site.

Accepted participants in this study will travel to the UA campus at the beginning and at the end of the treatment for assessments and would participate in telephone assessments with University researchers weekly for four weeks. Participants may keep the self-help program following the study.

UA’s Institutional Review Board has granted approval for the study.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.