University of Missouri-Saint Louis

line decor
line decor


Can you worry yourself sick?

The Health and Anxiety Research Program (HARP) at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is dedicated to exploring links between emotions and health and illness. Our research program is centered at the intersection between emotional and physical health and illness.

Anyone who has suffered from chest pain knows that pain can be a scary experience. Research has shown that emotions play a role in physical health and illness. We are dedicated to improving the understanding of the interrelationships between anxiety in physical health and illness. We are interested in a more complete understanding of the mechanisms of the often circular relationship between emotions, particularly fear and anxiety, and physical health.

More than 19 million Americans experience an anxiety disorder in a given year, and most patients with anxiety disorders seek care in medical settings. Some of our recent research is exploring how anxiety may accompany or perhaps masquerade as medical conditions, and we are attempting to identify an effective means of targeting some the emotional factors in medical settings. We have a funded study ongoing that is open to recruitment


Kamila S. White, PhD • Department of Psychology • University of Missouri-St. Louis • Saint Louis, Missouri 63121



Research is the central mission of the lab. Studies on anxiety, fear, and the role of emotion in presentation to medical settings, including NonCardiac Chest Pain are ongoing. We have now completed our study of pediatric chest pain and benign chest problems in collaboration with Dr. Mark Grady, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine. And we are well-along with our study examining emotions in patients undergoing cardiac catheterization.

Training future clinical professionals in research is also a mission of the lab.

Clinical and research presentations at local and national conferences

We are currently recruiting individuals to participate in our research. If you are interested in taking part in our research, please contact us.  

UMSL bw logo