Research Opportunities

Paruresis is an area where much valuable research needs to be done.  If you want to make an impact that could affect the lives of millions of people and advance our understanding of the causes and treatments for this and other anxiety disorders, there are many avenues to explore and you’ll have a lot of freedom to apply your talents.  If you are a person who can do research, wants to write a medical or psychological thesis, or is investigating drug therapies, here are a few research topics IPA is willing to help out with:

  • IPA wants to conduct a detailed survey of people with paruresis and the general population in order to better understand the epidemiological factors that contribute to paruresis and possible links to other disorders.  This survey will require careful planning, an open mind to searching for possible causes we don’t understand yet, and good statistical knowledge.
  • IPA now has a population of several hundred people who have attended its workshops, but no funds to do research into follow-up outcomes.  A research project looking at recovery progress vs. post-workshop treatment (none, support group work, psychotherapy, and/or medication) would greatly help to improve the effectiveness of workshops for everyone who attends.
  • SSRIs have been shown to reduce social anxiety, but no definitive research has been conducted into their use for paruresis.  IPA would like to investigate how effective these drugs are, and if some are more effective than others.

IPA is conducting investigational research into new medications for paruresis.  We have a number of promising leads but lack the funding to pursue them aggressively.  If you have access to that funding or other means to do the research, we can help you get started and provide a steady stream of people who are willing to participate in trials.  Some of the medications we wish to investigate are D-cycloserine, oxytocin, and gabapentin, among others.

We believe there may be one or more underlying genetic factors influencing paruresis.  If you are looking for a groundbreaking area of genetic research, we have access to a population of people who are willing to be tested in order to learn if there is a genetic link.  Your findings could provide valuable direction for future treatment research.

Another area of primary research we wish to conduct is analysis of brain activity in people with paruresis compared to a control population.  Some investigational work has been conducted by the NIH but their study was for anxiety disorders in general.  We need a more targeted study focusing on people with paruresis.

IPA needs to know about the relative efficacies of CBT, support group work, and medications both separately and in tandem.  If you have experience in conducting this kind of work, we would like to hear from you and can help you get started with a study.

We need research done into the impact of urine drug testing on the lives of people with paruresis in order to gain greater influence in setting government policy.  IPA has access to people who have been impacted by discrimination in drug testing and can put you in touch with them if you can put the information into a form where it will have a positive impact on public welfare.

Please contact the IPA if you wish to conduct research into any of these topics.

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