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Since the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI) opened its doors in 1997, research has played an integral role in helping the program develop innovative treatment approaches to OCD. This year, the OCDI’s commitment to research was further solidified with the formation the Office of Clinical Research.
“By embedding our research program with our clinical team, we are truly living the notion of ‘evidence-based practice,’ which only enhances our care and keeps us on the cutting edge of OCD treatment,” explained Michael A. Jenike, MD, medical director and co-founder of the OCDI.
Led by Jason Elias, PhD, a full time behavior therapist at the OCDI and director of Psychological Services and Clinical Research, Elias formed the new office with Program Director Diane Davey, RN, MBA, to manage the increasing amount of research taking place at the OCDI.
“Over the last 15 years, more opportunities for research have presented themselves at the OCDI and it became clear that we needed to have a comprehensive and coordinated effort to formalize research projects within the program,” explained Elias. “We are excited to have a number of staff working with us, including Jesse Crosby, PhD, post-doctoral research fellow, Christina Gironda, research coordinator, Christine André, senior research assistant, and Jason Krompinger, PhD, a behavioral therapist who has also taken on additional research responsibilities.”
Elias has been at the OCDI for six years, spending the last two as director of Clinical Research. During that time, he has implemented an electronic data collection system, started daily reporting of patient engagement in exposure therapy to provide feedback to the therapists, coordinated the implementation of the hospital wide Clinical Measurement Initiative at the OCDI, supervised dozens of undergraduate and graduate students in data collection and analysis, and has been involved in numerous poster and symposia presentations at professional conferences. He has also driven an initiative which has seen the number of clinicians actively involved in OCD research grow fourfold. The goal of the new Office of Clinical Research is to build on this progress by providing more staff and administrative support to build a cutting edge program of clinical assessment, program evaluation, and clinical research at the OCDI.
Crosby joins the OCDI after completing doctoral training in clinical psychology at Utah State University and a clinical internship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He has research interests in acceptance and commitment therapy, addictive behaviors, perfectionism and trichotillomania.
Gironda has been part the OCDI for five years and has been instrumental in the development and daily functioning of the research program. She holds a degree in psychology from Bridgewater State University and has research interests in stress and behavior.
André joined the OCDI as a practicum student last year and has recently moved to a research position. She is currently a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Suffolk University and has research interests in emotion regulation, parenting, Acceptance and commitment therapy, behavior therapy, and anxiety disorders.
Krompinger has been on the OCDI team for the last year as a post-doctoral fellow and recently moved to a position as a behavior therapist. He completed his graduate training in clinical psychology at the University of Delaware and a clinical internship at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. He has research interests in phenomenological, neuropsychological, and psychophysiological predictors of treatment response and mechanisms of treatment in severe, refractory OCD. As a member of the Office of Clinical Research, Krompinger supervises the implementation of structured diagnostic interviews at the OCDI and provides consultation on study design and data analysis.
“We anticipate many changes in the future at the Office of Clinical Research as we move to a new lab space, implement more comprehensive and efficient data collection, and increase efforts to disseminate research findings,” said Davey. “We look forward to sharing more information about our publications, presentations and other findings from our research team.”