Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Palm Pilots Bridge Communication Gap Between Therapists And Patients

Date:
December 11, 2008
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Palm Pilots already perform a variety of functions, and in the future, they may be used as a therapeutic tool that benefits people with personality disorders. In a new study, researchers used Palm Pilots as electronic diaries to record and analyze mood variability in patients with borderline personality disorder and found that the devices helped bridge an important communication gap between therapists and patients.

Palm Pilots already perform a variety of functions, and in the future, they may be used as a therapeutic tool that benefits people with personality disorders. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher used Palm Pilots as electronic diaries to record and analyze mood variability in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and found that the devices helped bridge an important communication gap between therapists and patients.

"In the clinical setting, patients are not good at assessing their mood retrospectively," said Tim Trull, professor of psychology in the MU College of Arts and Science. “Previously, we asked BPD patients to recall and describe when a mood change occurred. This description could vary greatly depending on the patient’s current state of mind and how comfortable the patient felt with the therapist. Electronic diaries help solve this problem by requiring that the patient reflect on and rate the degree to which a specific mood is present at that moment. At the same time, the device does not require that the individual makes a decision about when a mood change has occurred.”

In the study, patients carried electronic diaries for one month and were prompted randomly to rate their mood on a scale of 1 to 5 up to six times each day. One group of patients had BPD and the other group of patients had depressive disorders. Researchers found that patients with BPD did not have significantly different overall levels of positive or negative moods. However, the patients with BPD displayed significant variability in their positive and negative moods throughout the month, demonstrated more instability, and reported more extreme changes across successive occasions.

“We may not have known the extent of the mood variability in the BPD patients without the assistance of the Palm Pilots, and the potential use of the device in psychological therapy is very exciting,” Trull said. “Eventually, programmed Palm Pilots may act as proxy therapists and provide patients with advice on coping skills and other therapeutic interventions, as problems occur in patients’ natural environment.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, BPD is more common than schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and is estimated to affect 2 percent of the population. It is characterized by pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image and behavior, and can lead to suicidal behavior, substance abuse and failed relationships. People with BPD experience mood shifts of depression, irritability, anger, anxiety and fear that can last from a few hours to a few days.

Trull's study “Affective Instability: Measuring a Core Feature of Borderline Personality Disorder with Ecological Momentary Assessment,” was published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Palm Pilots Bridge Communication Gap Between Therapists And Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201144727.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2008, December 11). Palm Pilots Bridge Communication Gap Between Therapists And Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201144727.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Palm Pilots Bridge Communication Gap Between Therapists And Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081201144727.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins