Hills and Valleys

Life has all sorts of hills and valleys, and sometimes you don’t end up doing what you had your heart set out on, but sometimes that’s even better.

– Ruth Buzzi

Hi! We have not posted in a while due to some ups and downs with this site not being able to retrieve old posts including a forever missing post from last spring. But we are back and such is life, such is research on a shoestring budget!

Over the past year, our SOVA Project has had some exciting developments. We have completed recruitment for our pilot Stress and Worry Trial and are now preparing analysis and a final manuscript. We published a study in Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings describing a 6-month process we used with 3 iterative focus groups in 2 primary care practices to understand how primary care providers (PCPs) might want to introduce SOVA to their patients. Dr. Radovic presented about this project at the Pediatric PittNet Lunch and Learn in March.

Right now, our team is also involved in several exciting new projects.

Dr. Radovic is co-director of Stakeholder Engagement and an Investigator on the Screening Wizard intervention for the NIMH ALACRITY-funded ETUDES center. The ETUDES center is also providing recruitment support for a project, “MoodRing” to understand whether measuring patterns of smartphone use in adolescents with depression can predict a change in symptom level. Dr. Radovic is working together as a co-PI on this project funded by a Small Business grant with Dr. Afsaneh Doryab from University of Virginia and Mr. Sam Shaaban from NuRelm. If you and your child are interested in this study please reach out!

Dr. Radovic and colleagues from Pitt Cyber, with support from AT&T, have been looking into how to upgrade an existing cyberbullying program with new technology features to address local concerns about cyberbullying.

Most of all, we are very excited about and grateful to the Fine Foundation, LEAD Pittsburgh, and Children’s Hospital Foundation for their support of our SOVA Peer Ambassador Program. Recently we received a grant from the Beckwith Institute to continue to provide support to youth during the pandemic. Our wonderful SOVA website editor and ambassador supervisor, Sana Karim, graduated this spring with her Masters in Applied Developmental Psychology from PITT. With her leadership and the help of our 2019 summer medical student, Kimberly Lin, our abstract – Experience of Peer Bloggers using a social media website for adolescents with depression or anxiety, giving back in a safe space – was accepted to the 2020 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting (cancelled due to the pandemic). Our preliminary results show a decrease in anxiety symptoms, stigma, social isolation, and an increase in self-esteem, competence, and confidence for our amazing bloggers. We are writing up this study and hope to publish our data soon!

Please check out some of the amazing articles our blogging ambassadors have written! Here is an amazing short story about anxiety, how to recover from the anxiety of talking to a therapist, mental health and relationships, and how one young person talks about that 2020 doesn’t have to be the worst year ever.

Until next time, stay healthy and safe!

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