University of Western Australia: UWA survey asks how does life make you feel

Researchers from The University of Western Australia want to understand how people regulate their emotions in order to cope with the trials of daily life.

UWA’s Emotional Wellbeing Lab is recruiting participants for the Feeling Emotions in Everyday Life (FEEL) Study to understand how emotional experiences and personality relate to wellbeing and common symptoms like depression and anxiety.

The findings could help refine intervention targets and inform personalised treatment for common and impairing conditions such as depression and anxiety as well as helping people translate what they learn in therapy into action in their daily lives at moments when they most need it.

Participants must be between 18 and 65 years of age, live in Perth and first complete a screening survey online to see if they are eligible before being invited to the first phase of the study.

Lab Director, Associate Professor Kristin Naragon-Gainey, said the study was particularly important with rates of depression and anxiety increasing over the past two years because of stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to understand how people respond to negative emotions in their daily lives – things like distraction, problem solving, or acceptance among others – and which responses are most helpful in promoting their wellbeing and reducing risk for depression or anxiety,” she said.

“The study is relevant to people with depression or anxiety, as well as more broadly to anyone who is coping with stress.

“We’re particularly looking for more male participants, as our current sample is heavily skewed with females.”

There are three components to the study. Participants complete surveys online at home and then visit the Emotional Wellbeing Lab at UWA for one three to four hour session that includes interviews, computerised tasks and heart rate measurements.

They may then be invited for a 10-day follow-up study that includes several brief surveys per day, as well as monthly questionnaires, all completed from home.

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