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

Understanding Psychological Distress and Protective Factors Amongst Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
(2021 Mar 20)
Am J Geriatr Psychiatry
Sams N, Fisher DM, Mata-Greve F, Johnson M, Pullmann MD, Raue PJ, Renn BN, Duffy J, Darnell D, Fillipo IG, Allred R, Huynh K, Friedman E, Areán PA

Understanding Participant Needs for Engagement and Attitudes towards Passive Sensing in Remote Digital Health Studies.
(2020 May)
Int Conf Pervasive Comput Technol Healthc 2020(): 347-362
Kolovson S, Pratap A, Duffy J, Allred R, Munson SA, Areán PA

Association Between Care Utilization and Anxiety Outcomes in an On-Demand Mental Health System: Retrospective Observational Study.
(2021 Jan 26)
JMIR Form Res 5(1): e24662
Kunkle S, Yip M, Hunt J, Ξ W, Udall D, Arean P, Nierenberg A, Naslund JA

Banbury Forum Consensus Statement on the Path Forward for Digital Mental Health Treatment.
(2021 Jan 20)
Psychiatr Serv
Mohr DC, Azocar F, Bertagnolli A, Choudhury T, Chrisp P, Frank R, Harbin H, Histon T, Kaysen D, Nebeker C, Richards D, Schueller SM, Titov N, Torous J, Areán PA, Banbury Forum on Digital Mental Health.

Leveraging human-centered design to implement modern psychological science: Return on an early investment.
(2020 Nov)
Am Psychol 75(8): 1067-1079
Lyon AR, Brewer SK, Areán PA

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