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The Centre for Mental Health runs a range of projects where we seek participants to get involved and support our research. Becoming a participant is easy. Browse our current projects below and get in touch if you're interested in taking part by calling +61 3 9214 3865 or via cmh@swinburne.edu.au.  

This study seeks to examine how a number of factors may contribute to the development and/or maintenance of body image concerns. 

Body image concerns are very common, with reports showing 20-60 per cent of individuals are at least somewhat worried about their appearance. This is an online study which seeks to examine how a number of factors (i.e. aesthetic sensitivity, perfectionism, and facial perception) may contribute to the development and/or maintenance of body image concerns. 

Participant criteria 

To participate in this study, you must: 

  • be above 18 years of age 
  • be fluent in English 
  • have access to a desktop/laptop computer with internet 
  • have been diagnosed with a body image disorder (i.e. body dysmorphic disorder, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge-eating disorder) OR have significant body image concerns. 
Study details 

You will be asked questions about your personal and health information, followed by measures of aesthetic sensitivity and perfectionism. The study will conclude with a face perception task, where you will be shown a series of 60 faces, and asked to rate their attractiveness, approachability, and symmetry. This study will take roughly one hour to complete. These tasks are untimed, and you will be reimbursed for your participation. Any information obtained that can identify you will be treated as confidential and stored securely. 
 

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This study aims to investigate the cognitive mechanisms associated with hallucination-proneness among healthy individuals. 

Research suggests that hallucinations in people with psychosis may be associated with biased cognitive processes as well as atypical language processing. To further understand this relationship, this study aims to investigate the cognitive mechanisms associated with hallucination-proneness among healthy individuals. Findings from the study will inform a future research study comparing the cognitive mechanisms of healthy individuals to those with specific psychosis-related disorders. 

Participant criteria 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • be 18 to 65 years old 
  • have no diagnosed hearing impairments 
  • speak English as your first language. 
Study details 

Participation in this research study will involve the following activities conducted over a single session: 

  • cognitive tests 
  • questionnaires. 

Research will be conducted at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn campus. It will take approximately 90 minutes. Participants will be reimbursed with a $20 gift card for their time and any travel expenses. 

How to participate 

For further information, please contact: 

This study investigates the similarities and differences between body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Research suggests that body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) might overlap in important ways. To better understand the similarities and differences between the disorders, this study aims to compare individuals with BDD and OCD across several key areas, such as symptoms, cognitive ability, and brain activity. Findings from this study will provide useful information about both disorders and how they might be related. 

Participant criteria 

We are looking for people who currently have BDD or OCD. Unfortunately, we cannot include individuals who currently have both conditions. 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • be 18 to 65 years old 
  • speak English as your first language 
  • be right-handed 
  • have no electrical, metal or magnetic implants in your body 
  • have no neurological conditions. 
Study details 

Participation in this study will require you to attend two assessment sessions, and have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. 

The two assessment sessions will be held at either Australian Catholic University or Swinburne University of Technology. These sessions will include clinical interviews, pencil-and-paper tests, and computer tests. Each session will take approximately 2 to 3 hours. 

The MRI scan will be completed at Swinburne University of Technology. You will be able to see a computer screen from inside the scanner, so we will ask you complete some computer tasks with a remote control while the scans are being taken.   

You will be reimbursed for your time and contribution. 

For further information, please contact Toni Pikoos, Doctoral Student Researcher: 

This study aims to conduct physical assessment related to the heart and nervous system function to develop a better understanding of cardiovascular risk in this population. 

We are looking for females with a current or previous diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. 

Participant criteria 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • have anorexia nervosa OR a previous diagnosis of anorexia nervosa 
  • be over 18 years old 
  • be female 
  • have no history of cardiovascular disease/neurological illness/traumatic brain injury 
Study details 

As a participant in this study you will be asked to take part in one session of approximately 4 hours at Swinburne University in Hawthorn. Basic medical history will be collected. The session will involve taking some physical measurements, for example your blood pressure, muscle nerve function and markers in your blood and urine. It will provide very useful information to help us to understand any changes that happen to cardiovascular and metabolic function in this disorder. 

Participants will be reimbursed with A$70 for their time. 

Contact Zoe Jenkins via zoe.jenkins@svha.org.au to participate or for more information. 

Although there are high rates of anorexia nervosa in today’s society, the neurological processes involved in the development and maintenance of the condition are still poorly understood. This study will investigate these features in order to better understand anorexia nervosa. 

Participant criteria 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • have anorexia nervosa OR have a sister with anorexia nervosa (your sibling does not need to participate) 
  • be over 18 years old 
  • be female 
  • be right-handed. 
Study details 

Participation will involve sessions at Swinburne University of Technology's Hawthorn campus. These sessions will involve a set of neuropsychological tests and MRI scans. 

  • Participants with anorexia nervosa will be required to take part in two sessions. 
  • Biological sisters of individuals with anorexia nervosa will be required to take part in one session. 

Each session will be approximately two to three hours. 

Participants will be reimbursed with a total of A$70 for two sessions or A$40 for one session.  

How to participate 

For further information, please contact Andrea Phillipou via andreaphillipou@swinburne.edu.au.

This study is one of the largest comprehensive investigations of the biological and environmental (‘neurobiopsychosocial’) factors involved in anorexia nervosa. 

The research aims to gain a better understanding of the factors involved in anorexia nervosa to aid the development of more effective treatments. 

Participant criteria 

We are seeking participants who are over 18 years of age and speak English to participate in one of the following groups: 

  • individuals with a current or past diagnosis of anorexia nervosa 
  • sisters of individuals with a current or past diagnosis of anorexia nervosa 
  • healthy control participants without a history of an eating disorder or mental illness 
  • females with a current diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). 
Study details 

Participation will involve two sessions at Swinburne University in Hawthorn. Participants will be reimbursed with a total of A$120. 

Participation in the GAD group will involve one session at Swinburne University. Participants in this group will be reimbursed with A$30. 

For further information, please contact: 

The purpose of this study is to see whether a type of brain stimulation, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), helps improve symptoms in people with anorexia nervosa. 

Participants are sought for a treatment trial assessing the effectiveness of non-invasive brain stimulation for people with anorexia nervosa. 

The purpose of this study is to see whether a type of brain stimulation, called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), helps improve symptoms in people with anorexia nervosa. 

tDCS involves a low electrical current being administered to your scalp. This is a very common technique that is used for improving symptoms in various conditions, as well as enhancing performance on certain tasks in healthy people. 

Participant criteria 

To be eligible to participate in this study, you must be: 

  • female 
  • right-handed; and 
  • have a current diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. 
Study details 

The trial will involve 10 days of tDCS treatment over two weeks, with assessments at different time-points.

Participants will be reimbursed with a total of A$300. 

For further information, please contact: 

Joining this registry simply means that you give permission for our researchers to contact you about potential research projects that you may be interested in participating in. 

We would like to invite you to join the Body Image Disorders Research Participant Registry. This registry contains confidential details of people who are willing to be contacted about body image-related research projects. Joining this registry simply means that you give permission for our researchers to contact you about potential research projects that you may be interested in participating in. 

You will be given full details of any research project being conducted and will be free to decide if you wish to take part or not. 

Participant criteria 

We are seeking participants over 18yo diagnosed with: 

  • body dysmorphic disorder 
  • anorexia nervosa 
  • bulimia nervosa 
  • binge eating disorder. 

As well as: 

  • people who have recovered or are recovering from anorexia nervosa 
  • family members of people with these diagnoses 
  • people with no diagnosis, but are concerned about their body image 
  • people who don’t experience body image concerns. 
Study details 

Find out more. 

For further information, please contact Dr Andrea Phillipou via andreaphillipou@swinburne.edu.au

The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of training increased activity in the brain using EEG on whether this can improve mood, memory and anxiety. 

Participant criteria 

We are looking for healthy participants who have no history of psychiatric diagnosis, head injury and are free of major diseases that are aged 18-60 years old. 

Study details 

Participation in this study involves two sessions: 

  • The first session involves questionnaires about personality and cognition and EEG recordings while completing two different memory computer tasks (takes approximately 2-3 hours). 
  • The second session involves some questionnaires about anxiety and mood, and EEG neurofeedback (approximately 4-4.5 hours). 

Participants will be reimbursed for their time. 

Please contact ctipple@swinburne.edu.au for more information or if you are interested in participating. 

ICoN-BD is short for 'Identifying Correlates of Neuropsychological functioning in Bipolar Disorder'. This research project aims to get a better understanding of the reasons for variability in thinking and emotional skills in people with bipolar disorder. In doing so, this research will help us to better understand bipolar disorder itself, which will help us to develop more effective and targeted treatment strategies. 

Who can participate? 

Participants aged between 18 and 65 years who belong to one of the following groups: 

  • Healthy adults with no history of mental illness 
  • Adults diagnosed with bipolar disorder 
Study details 

This study will consist of: 

  • An initial screening phone call, to determine if you are eligible to participate 
  • An in-person assessment 
  • Completion of a one-off questionnaire pack, a brief over the phone test and brief daily surveys (~10 mins per day) for 7 days. 

If you consent to participate, you will be required to: 

  • Undertake a clinical interview 
  • Participate in some assessments that measure your thinking skills (attention, memory etc). These include assessments in which a camera tracks your eye-movements. 
  • Undertake a short physical assessment measuring bodily characteristics (eg height and weight) and neurological symptoms 
  • Provide a small blood sample 

Participants will be reimbursed for time and travel costs. 

How to participate 

For further information, please contact iconbd.study@gmail.com.

This research project aims to understand cultural perceptions, beliefs, attitudes and knowledge of mental health and mental health services in the Sri Lankan Australian community. 

Participant criteria 

To be eligible to participate in this project, you must: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age 
  • Be English-speaking 
  • Have Sri Lankan heritage 
  • Currently live in Australia 
  • Have access to a computer. 
Study details 

Participation in this research project involves completing an anonymous online questionnaire which will take approximately 30 minutes. The questionnaire is exploring the community’s perspective, so it is open to all Sri Lankan Australians. 

At the end of the questionnaire, participants can choose to enter into a random prize draw to win a $100 Coles Myer voucher and express their interest in participating in follow-up studies on this topic. 

If you would like further information regarding any aspect of the research, please contact Amanda Daluwatta via adaluwatta@swinburne.edu.au.

Trauma-focused psychological intervention for voice hearing following trauma or adversity 

We are looking for volunteers to participate in a research project. The purpose of this project is to evaluate a trauma-focused treatment for voice hearing experiences. Trauma-focused treatments involve talking through traumatic events in order to process the emotion and meaning of the events and reduce their impact in the present day. 

Participant criteria 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • be 18 to 75 years old 
  • have experienced events in your life that might be considered to be traumatic 
  • hear voices, sometimes referred to as ‘auditory hallucinations’, that may be related to this traumatic event 
  • be fluent in English. 
Study details 

Participation will involve:  

  • receiving a six-session trauma-focused psychological therapy intervention 
  • completing three assessment sessions (a baseline intake assessment and follow ups at eight and 12 weeks). These sessions will involve talking about your mental health, voice hearing and past traumatic experiences and completing some paper and pencil questionnaire. 
  • completing 12 days of monitoring of your voice hearing and memories of the traumatic event using a smart phone app (six days in week one and six days in week eight). 

Participants will be financially reimbursed for time and travel for these assessment sessions. The assessment and intervention sessions will be held at the Voices Clinic at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn campus. 

How to participate 

For further information, please contact Rachel Brand via rbrand@swinburne.edu.au +61 3 9214 4840.

Research suggests that hallucinations in people with psychosis may be associated with biased cognitive processes as well as atypical language processing. To further understand this relationship, this study aims to investigate the cognitive mechanisms associated with hallucination-proneness among healthy individuals. Findings from the study will inform a future research study comparing the cognitive mechanisms of healthy individuals to those with specific psychosis-related disorders. 

Participant criteria 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • be 18 to 65 years old 
  • have no diagnosed hearing impairments 
  • speak English as your first language. 
Study details 

Participation in this research study will involve the following activities conducted over a single session: 

  • cognitive tests 
  • questionnaires. 

Research will be conducted at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn campus. It will take approximately 90 minutes. Participants will be reimbursed with a A$20 gift card for their time and any travel expenses. 

How to participate

For further information, please contact:

We are conducting a new treatment trial involving a visual training program designed for individuals with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This is based on research that individuals with body dysmorphic disorder can view certain images in a different way to those without the disorder, which can maintain or worsen symptoms.  

Participant criteria 

To participate in the study, you must: 

  • have a primary diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) 
  • be 18 to 65 years old 
  • speak English as your preferred language 
  • have no history of neurological or eye conditions 
  • be willing to attend ten weekly sessions at Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn campus. 
Study details 

Participating will involve completing pre- and post-assessments, as well as attending weekly sessions over a period of ten weeks with a trained therapist. All participants will be reimbursed $50 for the pre- and post-assessments for their time and any travel expenses. 

The assessments include: 

  • clinical interview 
  • eye tracking tasks 
  • social cognition tasks 
  • Questionnaires. 

The ten-week training program consists of three phases: 

  • general visual training 
  • face-specific visual training 
  • self-perception visual training using mirrors. 
How to participate 

For further information, please contact Doctoral Student Researcher Francesca Beilharz via fbeilharz@swinburne.edu.au or +61 3 9214 5614.

Body image survey 

The purpose of this online study is to examine how body image concerns are represented in the general population. 

Participant criteria

To participate in this study, you must: 

  • be at least 18 years of age 
  • be fluent in English 
  • have access to a desktop/laptop with internet. 
Study details 

The study comprises three parts: 

  1. screening for body image concerns (A-D) 
  2. determining the level of these concerns (E-F) 
  3. assessing general mental health (i.e. anxiety and depression; G). 

This study should take 15 minutes or less to complete, and there will be no reimbursement involved. However, you will be given an option to join our voluntary research participant registry, where there will be further opportunities to take part in other face-to-face or online studies. 

Any information obtained that can identify you will be treated as confidential and stored securely. 
 

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  • Anything she needs, her phone's got her covered

    Peer Tree Program

    Peer Tree is a gamified smartphone app designed to reduce loneliness in young people aged 18 to 25 years old. Available on iPhone and iPad.

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Our researchers are committed to the highest ethical, professional and scholarly standards. All of our studies conform to the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

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