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Research

  • Etiology and social and cogntive mechanisms of posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression
  • Psychological interventions, incl. technology based interventions
  • Comparison processes in judgment
  • Impact of childhood abuse, war experiences and migration on mental health
  • Systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • Experimental psychopathology

 

Main Research Projects

Efficacy of psychological interventions

We conduct research on the efficacy of psychological interventions for individuals with anxiety and related disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression. Currently, we are involved in the following two multicenter trials.

ReCAP: Culturally Adapted Psychotherapy for Refugees
funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

This multicenter trial evaluates the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of three novel and culturally adapted psychological interventions for asylum seekers and refugees in Germany. The clinical trials are carried out at the universities of Frankfurt (Prof. Ulrich Stangier & Dr. Regina Steil), Marburg (Dr. Cornelia Weise & Dr. Dr. Ricarda Nater-Mewes), Munich (Prof. Thomas Ehring) and Münster. In three randomized controlled trials, a short psychoeducation intervention, a transdiagnostic group intervention (CA-CBT+) and individual Imagery Rescripting are being investigated.

IREM-Freq
This international multicenter randomized clinical trial investigates the efficacy and mechanisms of Imagery Rescripting (ImRs) and EMDR for adult PTSD due to childhood sexual and physical traumatic experiences. The trial is being conducted at 14 sites in Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Exemplary publications on psychological interventions from our group:

A-Tjak, J. G. L., Morina, N., Topper, M., & Emmelkamp, P. M. G. (2018). A Randomized Controlled Trial in Routine Clinical Practice Comparing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 87, 154–163. Doi: 10.1159/000486807.

Kampmann, I. L., Emmelkamp, P. M. G., Hartanto, D., Brinkman, W.P., Zijlstra, B. J. H., & Morina, N. (2016). Exposure to virtual social interactions in the treatment of social anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 77, 147-156. Doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2015.12.016.

Meyerbroeker, K., Morina, N., Kerkhof, G. A., & Emmelkamp, P.M.G. (2013). Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy does not provide any additional value in agoraphobic patients: A randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics, 82, 170-176. Doi: 10.1159/000342715.

Comparison processes in judgment

We investigate the role of comparison processes in judgment. Using observational and experimental research, we examine for example how different types of comparison (e.g., social, temporal, or couterfactual comparisons) influence judgments of well-being and other mental or physical attributes of the self. 

Exemplary publications on comparative thinking from our group:

Meyer, T., & Morina, N. (2022). Social comparison modulates acute responses to traumatic footage and the development of intrusive memories. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology. Doi: 10.1177/20438087221075889

Morina, N. (2021). Comparisons inform me who I am: A general comparative processing model of self-perception. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16, 1281-1299. DOI: 10.1177/1745691620966788. DOI: 10.1177/1745691620966788.

Morina, N., McCarthy, P., Meyer, T., & Schlechter, P. (2023). Measuring appearance-related comparisons: Validation of the Comparison Standards Scale for Appearance. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 47:123–139. Doi: 10.1007/s10608-022-10337-6.

Impact of war and migration on mental health and behavior

We investigate mental health outcomes in survivors of mass violence and the efficacy of mental health services for this population.

Exemplary publications from our group:

Hoppen, T. H., Priebe, S., Vetter, I., & Morina, N. (2021). Global burden of post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression in countries affected by war between 1989 and 2019: A systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Global Health, 6:e006303. DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2021-006303.

Morina, N. & Nickerson, A. (2018). Mental Health of Refugee and Conflict-Affected Populations: Theory, Research and Clinical Practice. Cham: Springer. ISBN-13: 978-3319970455.

Schlechter P., Hellmann, J. H., McNally, R. J., & Morina, N. (2022). The longitudinal course of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in war survivors: Insights from cross-lagged panel network analyses. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 35:879–890. DOI: 10.1002/jts.22795.

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses

We conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses to evaluate the efficacy of treatments for mental disorders as well as the role of cognitive, emotional and social factors in psychopathology.

Exemplary publications from our group:

Hoppen, T. H. & Morina, N. (in press). Psychological interventions for adult PTSD are effective irrespective of current psychotropic medication intake: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,92, 27-37. Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics. Doi: 10.1159/000527850 

Kip, A., Iseke, L. Papola, D., Gastaldon, C., Barbui, C. & Morina, N. (2023). Efficacy of Psychological Interventions for PTSD in Distinct Populations - An Evidence Map of Meta-Analyses using the Umbrella Review Methodology. Clinical Psychology Review, 100, 102239. Doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2022.102239

Morina, N., Hoppen, T. H., & Kip, A. (in press). Study quality and efficacy of psychological interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Psychological Medicine, 51, 1260–1270. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291721001641.