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

Editorial: Aging-related factors in digital health: Design, uptake, engagement, and outcomes.
Front Digit Health 4(): 1124464
Branch OH, Graham SA, Moore RC, Areán PA

Differential response of positive valence systems to psychotherapy for late-life depression: A pilot study.
(2023 Mar 1)
J Affect Disord 324(): 206-209
Bress JN, Gunning FM, Arader L, Areán PA, Alexopoulos GS

Recruitment and Retention in Remote Research: Learnings From a Large, Decentralized Real-world Study.
(2022 Nov 14)
JMIR Form Res 6(11): e40765
Li SX, Halabi R, Selvarajan R, Woerner M, Fillipo IG, Banerjee S, Mosser B, Jain F, Areán P, Pratap A

Task Sharing to Expand Access to Care: Development of a Behavioral Health Support Specialist.
(2023 Jan 1)
Psychiatr Serv 74(1): 76-78
Renn BN, Casey C, Raue PJ, Areán PA, Ratzliff A

Effectiveness of Mental Health Apps for Distress During COVID-19 in US Unemployed and Essential Workers: Remote Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial.
(2022 Nov 7)
JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 10(11): e41689
Comtois KA, Mata-Greve F, Johnson M, Pullmann MD, Mosser B, Arean P

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