Ellen Frank _

Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of PsychologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicineAcademia/University
Work Pittsburgh Pennsylvania United States of AmericaWebsite: http://www.wpic.pitt.edu/research/dmdpp/

Biographical Info

For more than 25 years my laboratory has been studying interventions for mood disorders and the pathophysiology underlying response to those interventions. These studies are notable for their emphasis on sleep/wake and circadian rhythms as mediators and moderators of treatment response. Consistent with that emphasis we have developed an approach to the treatment of bipolar disorder that is based on a specific hypothesis regarding the impact of social rhythms, as measured by the Social Rhythm Metric (SRM) on circadian function and mood in this illness. Under the auspices of an NIMH MERIT Award, we demonstrated the preventive efficacy of interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT) which seeks to stabilize circadian function in patients with bipolar disorder by increasing the regularity of their daily social rhythms. Most relevant to the current application, we found that the preventive efficacy of IPSRT was directly related to the degree to which participants increased the regularity of their social routines. IPSRT has now been validated in several other studies of bipolar disorder in both adults and youth. Given the centrality of the social rhythm regularity to this intervention approach, we are working with patient and clinician stakeholders to develop a highly disseminbable health care system based on a smartphone version of the Social Rhythm Metric combined with data sensed from the smartphone. This system can interface with a clinical monitoring system in clinicians’ offices or be used independently by patients with bipolar disorder in their own self-management.

Categories: Individual Members

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