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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 5:20 EDT

University of Pittsburgh Medical School Professor Secures Funding for Beating the BluesUS Research Study

May 3, 2012

PITTSBURGH, May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Funding for a four-year, $2.6-million research study that could impact how certain mental health conditions are managed in primary care settings has been secured by a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine professor.

The research study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Beating the BluesUS, an online cognitive behavioral therapy program that is sold and supported by U Squared Interactive, LLC. Bruce L. Rollman, M.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine, psychiatry, and Clinical and Translational Science at Pitt’s School of Medicine, received funding for the study from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

“The study findings are likely to impact the way that certain mental health conditions are managed in primary care,” said Dr. Rollman. “Online computerized CBT programs such as Beating the BluesUS are new and evolving technologies that can improve patient access to personalized, convenient and effective mental health interventions.”

The study will measure the effectiveness of Beating the BluesUS (alone, and in combination with an Internet support group), and compare it to treatment as usual for depression and anxiety within primary care. The research study will involve 700 patients, ages 18 to 75, who will be referred to the trial by physicians at a dozen or more UPMC-affiliated primary care practices located across western Pennsylvania.

“We also hope our study will focus further attention on the emerging field of `e-mental health’ by other U.S. investigators,” Dr.Rollman said.

CBT is a form of psychotherapy that teaches individuals how to change the way they think in order to improve the way they feel and how they respond to problems. It is a widely used and effective modality for people with anxiety and depression.

Over 80 million Americans suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder at some point in their lives and these conditions are associated with substantial reductions in quality of life and an increase in the use of health services.

“Beating the BluesUS‘s delivery of computerized CBT has demonstrated proven efficacy,” said Neal Ryan, M.D., a professor of Psychiatry at Pitt’s School of Medicine and a U Squared( )Interactive board member. “This is important to the health care of our patients in decreasing barriers to access, providing a cost-effective approach to effective management of depression and anxiety and, for some, being a powerful adjunct to various treatment modalities.”

U Squared( )Interactive, LLC, is a joint venture between the UPMC Insurance Services Division and Ultrasis UK Ltd., a London-based company. Beating the Blues is Ultrasis’s flagship product for anxiety and depression in the United Kingdom.

Full details of the study can be found at http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01482806?term=rollman&rank=1.)

About U Squared Interactive

U Squared Interactive is a joint venture between the UPMC Insurance Services Division and Ultrasis, PLC. Its mission is to support all health care stakeholder communities in creating innovative and cost-effective computer-based solutions for everyday health problems, lifestyle issues, and long-term conditions. U Squared Interactive believes in delivering evidenced-based treatment via interactive and easy-to-use software programs that will revolutionize how health care consumers achieve holistic wellness.

SOURCE UPMC Health Plan


Source: PR Newswire