Research Projects

Participating in any of our investigations involves a mutually beneficial relationship with the Anxiety & Health Behaviors Lab. Participants will be adequately compensated for their time and efforts devoted to helping us learn more about the nature and treatment of anxiety disorders and related problems. Depending on the study, participants may receive monetary remuneration, comprehensive diagnostic interviews and assessments at no cost, or treatment at no cost.

For more information about participating in clinical research, we would like to direct you to the following brochures prepared by the National Institutes of Health:

For more questions about participating in any of our investigations, please contact us at


We currently have six active studies. Please review the overview of aims and procedures for each study and determine which study may be the best fit for you.

CO2 Reactivity as a Biomarker of Non-response to Exposure-Based Therapy

Sponsor: National Institute of Mental Health
Objective: Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment for anxiety and fear-related disorders. However, some patients fail to achieve complete remission or show a return of anxiety symptoms following treatment. The purpose of the study is to determine the extent to which one’s emotional reaction to a CO2 inhalation task can help predict who might or might not respond to therapy. If CO2 reactivity proves to be successful in predicting who will benefit from CBT versus who will not, clinicians can make better decisions about which patients should be treated with CBT.
Clinical Trials Registry: Click here.
Status: This study is currently recruiting participants.
IRB Protocol: 2016-09-0150

Community-based Smoking Cessation Treatment for Adults With High Stress Sensitivity. (STEP3)

Sponsor: National Cancer Institute
Objective: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, contributing to over 480,000 deaths each year or about 1 of every 5 deaths. Though approximately 70% of current adult smokers are motivated to quit , and significant strides have been made in the development of effective smoking cessation treatments, most established interventions are associated with relatively low long-term abstinence rates (15-35%). The purpose of the study is to determine the efficacy of an aerobic exercise based smoking cessation intervention in people with high anxiety sensitivity. Participants will be assigned a personal trainer at the YMCA to assist with intervention adherence, receive Nicotine Replacement Therapy in the form of patches, and counseling through the Texas Tobacco Quitline.
IRB Protocol: 2016-12-0049

Tobacco Cessation Following Psychiatric Hospitalization

Sponsor: Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas
Objective: Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. People with psychiatric disorders consume almost half (44.3%) of all cigarettes smoked in the U.S. Effective quit smoking treatments for people with psychiatric disorders are sorely needed. Our aims in the current project are to develop and test an iPad tablet, motivational counseling intervention that does not require a trained professional counselor. Our goal is to conduct a clinical study to evaluate the effectiveness of this iPad-based, Sustained Care intervention for smokers engaged in psychiatric hospitalization, by comparing it to the brief advice to quit smoking that is part of usual hospital care. Those who receive the iPad intervention will also be provided with quit smoking resources (Texas Tobacco Quitline referral and nicotine patches) upon hospital discharge.
IRB Protocol: 00002552