The Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy implements a multi-methodological, interdisciplinary approach in basic and applied research on depression and anxiety disorders as well as psychological aspects of chronic diseases. Research is conducted in the fields of prevention, clinical-psychological and psychotherapeutic treatment as well as rehabilitation. The departments´ research program is focussed on e-mental health, psychodiagnostics and Computer-adaptive testing (CAT), depression and anxiety disorders, psychological aspects of somatic diseases, psychotherapy research and health services research.
The focus of research of the faculty of engineering, computer science and psychology and the affiliated psychotherapeutic outpatient unit lies on "human-technology" and "human-health" interactions. Therefore an ideal framework for the investigation of human-technology-health interactions is provided.
Internet- and mobile-based interventions (IMIs) can contribute to mental health care by adding ecological, personalized interventions in daily life. Our department examines the effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, acceptance, utilization as well as underlying mechanisms of change of e-mental health interventions. Thereby, our focus is on guided and unguided online self-help interventions and blended therapy approaches, i.e. a concept, where psychotherapy and e-interventions are combined. The continuing development and evaluation of technological health innovations aims at further increasing the impact of psychological and psychotherapeutic interventions on mental and public health.
Psycho diagnostics and Computer adaptive testing
A reliable and valid assessment of indicators and predictors of mental health is essential for psycho-diagnostics, therapy planning and treatment process evaluation. Research projects of our department are focused on the implementation of psycho-diagnostic routines in clinical practice and the development of technology-based diagnostic instruments such as Computer adaptive tests (CAT) based on models of the item response theory, smartphone-based behaviour diagnostics, ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and smart sensing approaches. The department develop, validate and implement assessments for e.g. depression, anxiety, personality disorders, activities of daily living, work capacity and treatment motivation in different somatic and mental health populations.
Psychological Aspects of somatic diseases
The department conducts research on psychological aspects of somatic diseases with a focus on somatic-mental comorbidities, coping and acceptance, treatment motivation and behaviour change, self-management, empowerment and self-efficacy as well as grief and existence. Thereby our research mainly targets the fields of psychooncology, psychocardiology, psychodiabetology and psychological aspects of chronic pain.
Psychotherapy- and Treatment Process Research
Next to our effectiveness and cost-effectiveness research, we are particularly interested in the differential effectiveness of psychological and psychotherapeutical interventions as well as the active ingredients of psychotherapies and their specific components. Thereby, we aim to improve our knowledge on the mechanisms of change that underlie psychotherapy.
Health Services Research
The utility of established and innovative psychological interventions is defined by their efficacy and effectiveness as well as by their reach. While clinical research has a strong focus on efficacy and effectiveness, dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions often take place uncontrolled. The department has a focus on scientifically derived insights on implementation facilitators and barriers as well as active dissemination strategies able to increase the reach of evidence-based interventions.