Instructions for the Harvard Psychiatry Research Day Poster Session

Acceptance of abstracts is determined by the Mysell Committee of the Department of Psychiatry. There is a limit of one-first authored presentation per person.
Abstracts are limited to 2,200 characters (INCLUDING spaces, but EXCLUDING title and authors in the character count).
The Abstract Body must include the following headings: Background, Methods, Results, Conclusions (see below for sample abstract format).

It is recommended that you write your responses to the abstract submission section in a text editing program and then copy it into the Qualtrix poster application system. Begin the application ONLY when you have time to finish it in one sitting.
You will NOT be able to exit the application and save your progress, so please prepare your responses and abstract carefully. The link to the application can be used multiple times, but it will open a new application each time.

Please keep in mind that once you submit your form, it cannot be changed.

Please contact Linda Messier at if you encounter any difficulties submitting your abstract.

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2020


Sample Abstract Format

The impact of patients’ expectations on clinical response: Re-analysis of data from the Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group

J. Chen J, G.I. Papakostas, S.J. Youn, L. Baer, A.J. Clain, M. Fava, D. Mischoulon

Depression Clinical and Research Program, Dept. of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School


Background: Patient belief about assigned double-blind treatment may influence outcome. We reanalyzed data from the Hypericum Depression Trial Study Group’s placebo-controlled trial of St. John’s wort (SJW) versus sertraline for major depressive disorder (MDD) to determine whether patients who believed they were receiving active therapy rather than placebo obtained greater improvement, independent of assigned treatment.


Methods: 340 adults with MDD and baseline HAM-D-17 scores of ≥20 were randomized to either SJW 900-1500 mg/d, sertraline 50-100 mg/d, or placebo for 8 weeks. At week 8, patients were asked to guess their assigned treatment. 243 subjects met intent-to-treat criteria. Univariate ANOVA was used to determine whether treatment assignment moderated the effect of belief on clinical improvement. Logistic regression examined whether treatment assignment moderated the effect of belief on response (≥50% decrease in HAM-D-17 score) and remission (final HAM-D-17 score <8).


Results: Significant differences in improvement were found for belief in SJW (p<0.001) or sertraline (p=0.001) versus placebo, with strongest improvement in the SJW-believing group. Response rates were significantly stronger for subjects guessing active treatments (p<0.001 for SJW and sertraline) versus placebo, and for subjects guessing SJW versus sertraline (Fisher’s p=0.049). Association between belief and improvement remained significant when controlling for assigned treatment (p<0.001). A significant association with response was seen only for treatment guess (p=0.003, 95% CI=0.588), but not for assigned treatment. No significant associations were found for remission rates.


Conclusions: Patient expectations regarding treatment may exert a greater influence on clinical outcome than the actual medication received.