Our Study

Our study


This study is a project of the work group for new media of the German Society for Bipolar Disorder. The aim of our study is to validate the Palm Life Chart (PLC), which means to prove that it measures what it is supposed to measure. Therefore, patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder use the Palm Life Chart every day- either with little pocket computers, so called Palms or with a soon coming version for cellular phones- or the online version that you can find here (section “use the PLC online”).



To validate the program, the data in the PLC about the mood and the functioning is compared to psychometric scales. Therefore, patients are asked a number of questions on a regular base either by their physician or by us. The exact questions are laid down in psychometric scales. We use these scales:

  • Inventory of Depressive Symptoms (IDS)
  • Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS)
  • Clinical Global Impression – adopted for Bipolar Disorders (CGI – BP)
  • Global Assessment of Function (GAF)
  • Life Function Questionaire (LFG 1+2)
  • Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF 36)

The reliability and the validity of the PLC are tested with the correlation between the data of the PLC and the scores of the IDS, YMRS, CGI-BP and the GAF Participation


The Palm Life Chart is a free program from the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Bipolare
Störungen. The offer program is meant for patients who want to observe the course of their bipolar disorder over a longer time and who want to use a modern electronic device for that is helpful if the patients have been using the paper Life Chart method before to be familiar with the method.


The study has been done in Germany in the past couple of years, now we are looking for patients from English speaking countries. It started in March and lasts till November ´05, but you can still participate. In this time, you should use the PLC daily (which only takes a couple of minutes) and be willing to be interviewed approximately every two weeks (for 20 to 30 minutes, on the phone or in person). We provide the Palms and cellphones for the time of the study. You can drop out of the study at any time without any consequences.

  • Confidentially

The entered information in the PLC is very personal.

As this data is sent to us via internet and we send you back the evaluation (the charts of your mood etc.), we recommend anonymous participation. Therefore, every patient who wants to participate gets a patient ID number. Only the user themselves and - anonymously by only seeing the patient ID number-  the working group of the Neue Medien (see section “Arbeitgruppe Neue Medien and the DGBS”) can see the data. The working group uses the data in accordance with the principles of the data protection law for research projects.


Prerequisites for participation


Patients who want to participate have to be

  • 18 year or older
  • diagnosed with bipolar disorder

Technical requirements:

  • A palm (best with a USB interface)/ PocketPC / Treo / Handspring or a normal PC (Windows/Linux/ Mac)
  • A  modem or admission to a PC with USB interface and internet access
  • An email address where we can send you back your data evaluation. If necessary, we can set up an email account at www.bipolar.de for you.

If you want to participate or have further questions, contact us (see section “contact”’). We will be happy to answer any of your questions!