The first step in participation is a phone call to our clinic. During this call, a member of our clinic staff collects some basic information about people's symptoms and history, and answer questions they may have about the Clinic and its operations.
If it seems like a person might be a good match for our research program, they are invited to make an appointment for an initial screening visit. At this screening, clinic personnel collect more detailed information about their symptoms and history. We seek to understand not only their OCD symptoms, but also other psychiatric or medical symptoms they may have, how the symptoms have affected their life, and what treatments they have tried in the past. In most cases they will meet with one of the Clinic’s psychiatrists or psychologists, who will review their case and may make some specific observations or recommendations regarding their care. (Occasionally, due to schedule constraints, this is not possible until a subsequent visit.) Clinic psychiatrists are happy to communicate any treatment recommendations they may have to a person's own psychiatrist or physician. If they do not have an established psychiatrist or therapist, we can often give some referrals of treatment providers in the community. This initial screening visit may also involve laboratory tests to make sure that people have no medical conditions that might preclude participation in research.
Depending upon which study or studies people will be participating in, after the initial screening visit, they are asked to come back for one or more follow-up appointments to complete specific research protocols. For most of our studies, we are able to pay research participants a small amount of money as a ‘thank-you’ for participation.