What is PLC

What is the PLC online and why should I use it?


What is Life Charting?

The treatment of bipolar disorder is often not an easy task. A combination therapy of several drugs is often necessary. But scientific evidence for the selection of a specific combination therapy is sparse. Detailed long-term monitoring is necessary to reliably evaluate the success of a prophylactic treatment for a chronically recurrent disorder. This is what the Life Chart Method (LCM) was developed for, the advantage being its high efficiency.The Life-Chart Method is a diary journal procedure. Your moods, manic and depressed episodes, the emerging impairment, your drugs and their side effects, significant life events, accompanying diseases and even hospitalizations are charted. It enables patients to document important information about the course of their disorder and of their therapy. This helps them to become aware of their state and of the factors that influence the course of there disorder. Their doctors profit from the exact registration of the prescribed drugs, their effects and their side effects to treat the disorder more accurately. LCM also provides a portable psychiatric history which is very useful when patients change the doctor or the way of treatment.

So the LCM creates a continuous chart which helps both you and your doctor to treat and understand your disorder more precisely.


What is the Palm Life Chart?

The Palm Life Chart (PLC) is an electronic diary for patients. It adds some functions and advantages that the paper based Life Chart paper method lacks and therefore supplements it. Palm Life Chart is a computer program that you can either use online or download to a cellular phone or Palm (a pocket computer) to use it wherever you go. You can enter the same information as on the Life Chart forms, but there are additional functions that make the description of your drugs, side effects and the course of the disease more accurate. It only takes a few minutes to complete. Every time you use the online version, your data is sent confidentially to a central computer in Germany. If you use Palms or cellular phones, you have to synchronize the data by sending it through an internet connection. This way, no information gets lost or changed by the transfer. Your data can be sent back to your (or your doctor´s) email address, and you can also print it out and download the data directly with the online version (see Manual: Administration).


Which information do you put into the Palm Life Chart?

Every day, you enter your  functioning, your mood, the drugs that you took that day and any side effects, how long you slept, the number of mood switches, any life events that had an effect on you and your mood, the days of the menstruation and hospitalisation. For more detailed information on this data, please read the manual (see either “manual short” or “manual long”). You can go back and forth and view the data that you already entered. You can also enter the data for the previous day, if you forgot to do it.


Why should I use the PLC?

Patients who have been using the PLC named numerous benefits, especially:


-early recognition for coming episodes
-better understanding of the disorder-
more stability
-evaluating the therapy access
-reminder for medication intake
-active participation in the therapy

Even for your doctor, the Palm Life Chart may be an ideal tool: it is very cheap in the long run because there is no paper analysis. Data processing is automatic and therefore the costs and efforts associated with it on the clinician side are a lot lower than with the LCM. Besides, the time of data entry is recorded, so your doctor can judge how accurate the information is.