Special Session

Research Facilitation Committee Presentation - The Virtual Research Lab: Discussing the Unique Opportunities and Challenges Experienced in Conducting Web-Based Research

Friday, November 17
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Location: Indigo E, Level 2, Indigo Level

Keywords: Internet Research | Innovation | Outcome Research
Presentation Type: Special Session
Level of Familiarity: Basic

Sponsored by the Research Facilitation Committee of ABCT (Chair: Nathaniel R. Herr), these invited expert panelists will discuss their experiences using web-based technology to enhance their research. The aim of this panel is to aid researchers interested in exploring web-based research by exposing them to the trials and errors of the panelists as they discuss ways that technology affects recruitment, participant engagement, treatment delivery, ethical issues of interstate or international online research, and ways in which technology can promote diversity in research. Dr. April R. Smith will discuss her work developing a web-based application employing evaluative conditioning, termed Therapeutic Evaluative Conditioning for Eating Disorders—TEC-ED. By pairing eating disorder stimuli with negative stimuli and self and eating related stimuli with positive stimuli, TEC-ED has the potential to counteract some of the core mechanisms driving disordered eating behaviors. Dr. Kenneth R. Weingardt will discuss how the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs) conducts clinical trials entirely online. This includes recruitment, screening, informed consent, assessment, and ongoing communications with the research team. Dr. Bethany A. Teachman will focus on ways to address challenges in recruitment and retention with online samples and the unique challenges that arise in maintaining a secure site (e.g., protecting participant data and communications when doing web-based research, as well as protecting the site from hacking). In addition, she will highlight the need to work with experts outside of psychology (e.g., engineers and computer scientists) to do this type of work effectively. Dr. Brian D. Kiluk will discuss his experience evaluating a computer-based program delivering CBT for substance use disorders with an emphasis on the advantages of a standardized delivery system in terms of CBT fidelity and identification of the mechanisms of action, as well as the potential cost benefits. He will also describe some of the challenges when evaluating a computerized intervention in research trials, which include decisions regarding research methods, the optimal modes of delivery, as well as clinicians’ perceptions of being replaced by a computer. Finally, Dr. Louisa G. Sylvia will discuss MoodNetwork, an online community of individuals with mood disorders, whose mission is to improve their lives by conducting comparative effectiveness research trials. She will discuss their current studies as well as lessons learned from online recruitment, retention, and use of technology (wearable devices) in online studies to enhance wellness and overall quality of life in individuals with mood disorders.

Learning Objectives:

Send Email for April Smith

Kenneth R. Weingardt

Associate Professor
Northwestern University

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Kenneth Weingardt

Send Email for Bethany Teachman

Send Email for Brian Kiluk

Louisa G. Sylvia

Assistant Professor
Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Louisa Sylvia

Send Email for Nathaniel Herr


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