Have You Lost A Loved One? UA ‘Grief and the Brain’ Research Study

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Have You Lost A Loved One? UA ‘Grief and the Brain’ Research Study

November 8, 2017

Losing a loved one is a profound hardship. In this study, we hope to learn more about how biological processes may impact how we adapt after the death of someone we love. We are interested in the role of certain hormones in our bodies, and how these hormones might affect how our brain responds to grief. The study is directed by Mary-Frances O’Connor, a researcher and clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychology at the University of Arizona.

We are currently recruiting men between the ages of 55 and 80 who have experienced the death of a spouse or romantic partner within the past 3 years.

Why would I participate?

Understanding more about the science of grief could help us find better ways to help people who have experienced loss. Additionally, you would receive up to $200 for completing the study.

Who can participate? 

If you're a man who has experienced loss of your spouse or romantic partner in the past three years and are in generally good health, you're likely eligible for this study. However, because the study involves having an MRI, people with certain types of metal objects in their bodies, such as pacemakers or stents, may not be eligible. Please call or email us to find out more (see below).

What’s involved?

Two visits to our lab on the UA campus, spaced about a week apart. Each visit would last about 2 hours. Parking will be provided, and you would be compensated for your time.

At each visit, you would use a nasal spray containing either a small amount of a hormone called oxytocin, or a placebo. Oxytocin is found naturally in our bodies, and plays an important role in social relationships.

At each visit, you would do a short task on the computer that involves viewing photos, and participate in an MRI (brain scan) while we record your brain activity. Unlike having an X-ray or CT scan, MRI technology does not expose you to radiation.

You would also complete several questionnaires about your health habits and history, your feelings of grief and other emotions, and your social relationships.

I might be interested, but want to find out more. What should I do? We’d be glad to talk with you! Email Saren Seeley at sarenseeley@email.arizona.edu, or call our lab at (520) 626-5383 and ask for Saren. To learn more about other ongoing studies in the lab, visit http://mfoconnor.faculty.arizona.edu/content/current-studies.

To participate:
Call: (520) 626-5383
Email: sarenseeley@email.arizona.edu

An Institutional Review Board responsible for human subjects research at the University of Arizona reviewed this research project and found it to be acceptable, according to applicable state and federal regulations and University policies designed to protect the rights and welfare of participants in research.

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