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Social Support and Reduced Fear Acquisition

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04564976
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : September 25, 2020
Last Update Posted : May 26, 2022
Sponsor:
Collaborator:
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Naomi Eisenberger, University of California, Los Angeles

Brief Summary:

University of California, Los Angeles researchers will recruit healthy participants and anxious participants (those diagnosed with social anxiety disorder) age 18-55 years old to participate in a study examining whether the ability of social support figure reminders to prevent the acquisition of fear in healthy participants extends to those with anxiety disorders.

After being recruited from the UCLA community (healthy participants, n = 50) or referred by treatment providers at the Anxiety and Depression Research Center at UCLA (anxious participants, n =50) and undergoing a telephone screening and in-person screening, 100 participants will be enrolled in the study. During the experiment, all participants will undergo the same procedures: undergoing fear acquisition procedures--the repeated pairing of a neutral image with a mild electric shock that ultimately leads to the association of threat of shock with the image--in the presence of an image of a social support figure (provided by participants) and an image of a smiling stranger.


Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Fear Anxiety Behavioral: Social support image Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 100 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Can Social Support Figures Enhance Fear Extinction in Patients With Social Anxiety?
Actual Study Start Date : February 9, 2022
Estimated Primary Completion Date : December 2024
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2024

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Anxiety

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Social Support Behavioral: Social support image
An image of a social support figure specific to each participant (provided by the participant) will be present while participants undergo a fear acquisition procedure. Specifically--the image will be presented alongside a neutral image that is either consistently paired with shock (CS+) or never paired with shock (CS-), so that assessment of whether there are differences in fear responding (evaluated via SCR) due the shock pairing can be assessed. This is a typical fear acquisition procedure, and a typical outcome would be for SCR to be higher for the CS+ compared to the CS- toward the end and following the procedure, indicating that the CS+ is now associated with the aversive shock and is bringing about a fear response (in this case indexed by increased sympathetic nervous system activity preparing the body to fight or flee).




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Fear response during acquisition indicated by elevated Galvanic Skin Response (GSR) [ Time Frame: during acquisition procedure ]
    presence of fear response as indicated by significantly higher galvanic skin response (GSR: an index of peripheral stress responding) to a previously learned fearful image (CS+) compared to a baseline comparator (CS-: never learned to be fearful).

  2. Fear response post-acquisition indicated by elevated GSR [ Time Frame: same session - directly post-acquisition (approximately 5 minutes post procedure) ]
    presence of fear response as indicated by significantly higher galvanic skin response (GSR: an index of peripheral stress responding) to a previously learned fearful image (CS+) compared to a baseline comparator (CS-: never learned to be fearful).



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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • healthy adults 18 and 35
  • fluent in English
  • no history of mental illness (healthy participants: including anxiety, depression, phobia, or any other mental health related disorder diagnosed by a mental health professional)
  • diagnosis of social anxiety disorder (anxious participants: allowed co-morbid disorders include depression, other anxiety disorders, and PTSD)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • pregnant or planning to become pregnant during the experiment period
  • presence of chronic mental illness (healthy participants: as determined by the report of a past diagnosis of mental illness by a physician or psychologist and/or the prescription of medication related to mental health disorder; including anxiety, depression, phobia, or any other diagnosed psychological disorder)
  • presence of non-allowed co-morbid disorders (anxious participants: including, bipolar disorder, psychosis, substance use disorder, neurological disorder, and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder)
  • current and regular use of prescription medications related to mental health disorders

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT04564976


Contacts
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Contact: Erica Hornstein, PhD 9175664470 ericahornstein@ucla.edu
Contact: Naomi Eisenberger, PhD

Locations
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United States, California
UCLA Department of Psychology Recruiting
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90095-1563
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, Los Angeles
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
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Responsible Party: Naomi Eisenberger, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04564976    
Other Study ID Numbers: SSA
First Posted: September 25, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 26, 2022
Last Verified: May 2022

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Naomi Eisenberger, University of California, Los Angeles:
social support
fear acquisition
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Anxiety Disorders
Mental Disorders