Aim of PLC

Aim of the Palm Life Chart


Palm Life Chart means Practice Based Research in the field of bipolar disorder. The efforts to facilitate life for people with bipolar disorder have most importance.

The importance of continuous long-time monitoring of bipolar disorders has been known for a long time.
This knowledge is used in the Life Chart Method: the daily recording of parameters such as functioning, mood and mood switches, the length of sleep, drug intake and life events, done by the patients themselves. This paper method has been used by many patients for years.

Palm Life Charts transfers this standard method to a new media that keeps the known advantages of the Life Chart method and wants to optimize them for patients and professionals.

Both sides profit from the advantages of the electronic method:

Patients appreciate the attractive and time saving application. The Palm is easy to take with them and the program has a clear structure. The electronic use of a diary is a lot more fun for users, as former studies in Germany showed. They profit from the regular and clear graphical evaluation which is sent to their email address after they synchronise the data. With the synchronisations and the replies it is possible to improve the continuity of the patients´ willingness to document.

Professionals receive a valuable and cheap support for the record of long-time development in the course of a bipolar disorder.

Strenuous attempts to reconstruct connections between episodes of the disorder and early symptoms or a successful therapy can be avoided in the future. Instead, the course of the disorder can be compared to their characteristic circumstances with the help of clear graphs.

Therefore, the Palm Life Chart can also facilitate clinical decisions.

Because of the great number of users, huge amounts of data are created. They have longitudinal information about long term courses with various medicinal combination therapies. In the field of bipolar disorder, pharmacotherapy is most challenging: Monotherapies are hardly used any more. Instead, a huge number of substances from different groups –whose effectiveness has only been proven in monotherapy- are combined.
Usual controlled clinical studies in accordance to the criteria of evidence based medicine for each one of these combinations would neither be affordable nor realisable in the near future. Still, medical responsibility demands a distinguished judgement of the effectiveness of these combinations.


The PLC helps as Practice Based Research to optimize pharmacotherapy: Practice Based Research means practically orientated research for clinical questions:
The data base of the PLC-project can help a lot to answer to question about the effectiveness of combination therapies. It provides systematically surveyed clinically relevant data for long time courses under certain combination therapies. With the help of industrial techniques for data analysis, the effects of medicinal therapy can be judged with regard to their effectiveness. Of course, such a data base does not replace meta-analysis based on controlled clinical studies. But it indicates where costly clinical studies are necessary and promising.

The Practice Based data base convinces with less effort, less costs, continuous improvement of quality and the direct use in the clinical life.

So the PLC is a prototype for the promising Practice Based Research System. Besides, the PLC is a starting point for further plans in the field of praxis oriented research with the help of new media: the transfer of neuropsychiatric tests on the Palm and the extension to other diagnoses are examples for future projects.