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Psychiatry Clinical Trials

We're dedicated to bringing innovative technology to our patients through clinical trials and research. As a patient at Cedars-Sinai, you have access to clinical trials and research aimed at improving testing methods, treatments, quality of life and recovery.

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Health Services Research

Participant Requirements:

  • New York Heart Association classes II-IV
  • Life expectancy of more than 6 months
  • PHQ-9 (depression rating scale) score ≥10
  • Diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) and Depressive Disorder Unspecified


This study focuses on patients who have been diagnosed with advanced heart failure and may be exhibiting signs of depression. The purpose of the study is to compare the effectiveness of two evidence-based treatment approaches to improve depression in patients with advanced heart failure: (1) Behavioral Activation (BA), a patient-centered psychotherapy which emphasizes engagement in enjoyable and valued personalized activities as selected by the patient and (2) Antidepressant Medication Management (MEDS). The study will examine the impact of these treatment enhancements on the following outcomes that patients and caregivers have identified as most important or advantageous: depressive symptom reduction, general physical and mental health-related quality of life (HRQoL), heart failure-specific HRQoL and caregiver burden. 

Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the two study groups. Behavioral Activation Psychotherapy will consist of an introductory treatment session, followed by 12 weekly videophone or telephone sessions and then monthly for 3 months and as needed thereafter. A typical session will include a review of daily monitoring record forms, discussion of life areas and positive feedback for participation in activities outside of sessions that have brought enjoyment in the past.

Antidepressant Medication Management will include meeting with the patient in an introductory antidepressant medication treatment session to educate the patient about depression and medication options. Patients will be prescribed a standard-of-care, antidepressant medication, followed by 12 weekly follow-up videophone or telephone visits and then monthly for 3 months, and as needed thereafter.


Opioid Use Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

Participant Requirements:

  • Inpatient at Cedars-Sinai
  • At least 18 years old
  • Able to provide informed consent in English
  • Screens positive for moderate to severe OAUDs (Alcohol and Opioid Use Disorders) 


The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether a specially trained psychiatrist and care manager, both members of the Substance Use Treatment and Recovery Team (START), can help improve care for people with substance use disorders. Researchers will compare START to standard care.