Patricia Areán, PhD

I am an international expert on effectiveness of behavioral interventions for mood disorders in special populations such as older adults and ethnic minorities. I lead a research and training group known for developing, studying, increasing access to and implementing user friendly, high quality behavioral interventions for mood as it presents in chronic illness, aging, low income and ethnic minority populations, in a variety of service settings: mental health, primary care, senior services, and mobile platforms. My team combines the latest information from cognitive neuroscience, socio-economics and implementation science in their designs.

Since 1994, I have published 125 peer-reviewed articles on these topics and she has been funded by SAMHSA, NIMH, NIA, NIDDK and the Hartford Foundation. I am currently funded by NIMH to study the effectiveness of “brain games” on mood and the effectiveness of a modularized psychotherapy for late life depression, and recently completed two large scale, fully remote RCTs in English and in Spanish. My work has won national recognition, resulting in an early career award from the American Psychological Association and The Award for Achievements in Diversity in Mental Health from the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry.

I also provides training in evidence-based treatments to community mental health and health professionals, and am developing deployable and cost effective training models based on contemporary adult learning methods. I am a noted expert in career mentoring and am currently the co-director of workforce development in translational sciences. ​


Clinical Services Research, UCSF, 1991-1991
Psycholgy, Bellevue Hospital, 1990-1991
PhD, Psychology, New Jersey, 1987-1991

Department Affiliations

Clinical Expertise

Teaching Philosophy

Clinical Interests and Expertise
  • Depressive disorders
  • Neurocognitive disorders
Research Interests and Expertise
  • Research Expertise
    • Depressive disorders
    • Neurocognitive disorders

Recent Publications

Digital Mental Health Intervention Plus Usual Care Compared With Usual Care Only and Usual Care Plus In-Person Psychological Counseling for Orthopedic Patients With Symptoms of Depression or Anxiety: Cohort Study.
(2022 May 4)
JMIR Form Res 6(5): e36203
Leo AJ, Schuelke MJ, Hunt DM, Miller JP, Areán PA, Cheng AL

Effectiveness of Case Management with Problem-Solving Therapy for Rural Older Adults with Depression.
(2022 Mar 9)
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry
Hollister B, Crabb R, Kaplan S, Brandner M, Areán P

Generational Perspectives on Technology's Role in Mental Health Care: A Survey of Adults With Lived Mental Health Experience.
Front Digit Health 4(): 840169
Woerner M, Sams N, Rivera Nales C, Gorstein T, Johnson M, Mosser BA, Areán PA

A Digital Mental Health Intervention in an Orthopedic Setting for Patients With Symptoms of Depression and/or Anxiety: Feasibility Prospective Cohort Study.
(2022 Feb 21)
JMIR Form Res 6(2): e34889
Leo AJ, Schuelke MJ, Hunt DM, Metzler JP, Miller JP, Areán PA, Armbrecht MA, Cheng AL

Collaboratively maximizing the impact of human-centered design in psychological and implementation science: Reply to Proctor et al. (2021).
(2021 Oct)
Am Psychol 76(7): 1189-1190
Lyon AR, Brewer SK, Areán PA

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