The Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program (ELSPAP) is exploring the frontiers of treatment algorithms in mental health-care by conducting ongoing outcomes research in the PEDIATRIC ANXIETY DISORDERS CLINIC at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital (LPCH). By developing a reliable, flexible, and easy-to-use series of assessment indicators, the group can deliver crucial patient information to their treating clinicians in real-time.

BACKGROUNd on anxiety disorders

  • Anxiety is prevalent among roughly 30% of the population

  • Only one in three anxiety patients receive adequate treatment

  • Anxiety disorders include: Separation anxiety, Panic disorder, Agoraphobia, Social and specific phobias, Generalized anxiety disorder, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • The LPCH Anxiety Disorders Clinic offers comprehensive assessment, evaluation and treatment for children and adolescents with anxiety disorders, treating 100 new patients each year.


The ELSPAP Clinic Outcomes Research focuses on developing a comprehensive database that clinicians worldwide can consult in the development of personalized interventions for pediatric anxiety disorders.

The project has developed a flexible assessment battery of parent and child questionnaires that is presented to families during their first visit to the clinic and provide researchers and clinicians with standardized data regarding a patient's current symptomatology.  Currently, the project aims to create unique algorithms for these questionnaires that can produce clinically relevant symptom scores in real time. By adapting the questionnaires to a digital format and employing this strategy, clinicians will have instant access to vital information about their patients, which might otherwise take weeks to score. With patient consent, the data is simultaneously stored in a database housed in Stanford's Center for Clinical Informatics, which collaborating institutions may contribute to.

Through this method of assessment, the group can exponentially develop the rate of incoming data and the ultimate size of it's contribution to the phenomenology and classification of mental illnesses. Data collected through these methods can be used for the development of new assessments, treatment algorithms, and therapeutic interventions.

Students would primarily work on the development of web-based scoring algorithms for these assessments, and will gain valuable experience in database development and management, behavioral statistics, and psychometrics work with the ELSPAP.

Technical Skills

We are looking for students with a background in, or desire to learn, the following:

  • PHP, SQL, REDCap

  • Connecting REDCap to a PHP system for data storage and real-time relay of that data