Managing Epilepsy Well Network Logo Managing Epilepsy Well Home Page
Emory University: Project UPLIFT

Evaluating the effectiveness of epilepsy self-management programs: Using distance technology for treating depression in people with epilepsy (Project UPLIFT)

  • Nancy J. Thompson, PhD, MPH (Principal Investigator)
  • Colleen K.DiIorio, PhD, RN, FAAN (Co-Investigator)
  • Cam Escoffery, PhD, MPH, CHES (Co-Investigator)
  • Elizabeth R. Walker, MPH (Project Coordinator)
  • Natasha Obolenski, MPH, CHES (Research Assistant)

Project identifier:
SIP 07-06 Managing Epilepsy Well: Network for Epilepsy Self-Management

Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable ThoughtsProject UPLIFT (Using Practice and Learning to Increase Favorable Thoughts) is an 8-week program that is delivered through the Internet or by telephone to people with epilepsy who want to reduce their depression. The overall goal of Project UPLIFT is to combine cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques in an intervention to reduce depression among people with epilepsy.


The current research will determine if participants show improvement in depressive symptoms, quality and satisfaction with life, self-compassion, purpose in life, sleep time and quality, as well as knowledge and skills related to mindfulness and depression. Project UPLIFT was designed in two stages: intervention development and pilot testing.

During intervention development, eight intervention sessions were created and tailored for telephone or Internet delivery. Sessions were designed to be one hour in length, due to the discomfort associated with telephone calls longer than one hour. Each session was comprised of a check-in period, teaching on the topic of that week’s session, group discussion, a skill-building exercise, and a homework assignment. After the intervention was developed, focus groups were held to obtain feedback from people with epilepsy about the intervention and each session. Overall, focus group participants felt the materials were acceptable.

Dr. Joseph Sirven, Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic Arizona and Editor-in-Chief of, interviews Nancy J. Thompson, Ph.D., M.P.H. from Emory University about the UPLIFT Depression and Epilepsy Self Management trial.

Listen to the Podcast
In the pilot test phase, the intervention was delivered to small groups using two different media: the Internet and the telephone. The purpose of the pilot test was to assess acceptability and explore effectiveness related to depressive symptoms, quality and satisfaction with life, self-compassion, purpose in life, sleep time and quality, and knowledge and skills related to mindfulness and depression. Intervention groups were co-facilitated by a peer with epilepsy and a graduate student and supervised by a clinical psychologist.

UPLIFT related publications:

DiIorio C, Bamps Y, Edwards AL, Escoffery C, Thompson NJ, Begley CE, Shegog R, Clark NM, Selwa L, Stoll S, Fraser RT, Ciechanowski P, Johnson EK, Kobau R, Price PH.(2010). The Prevention Research Centers' Managing Epilepsy Well Network. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010 Sep 22. [Epub ahead of print].
View PubMed Abstract

Thompson NJ, Reisinger Walker E, Obolensky N, Winning A, Barmon C, DiIorio C, Compton M.(2010). Distance Delivery of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for Depression: Project UPLIFT. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010 Sep 16. [Epub ahead of print]
View PubMed Abstract

Reisinger Walker E, Obolensky N, Dini S, Thompson, NJ. (2010). Formative and process evaluations of a CBT and mindfulness intervention for people with epilepsy and depression. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2010 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
View PubMed Abstract

Shegog R, Bamps Y, Escoffery C, Ilozumba O, Johnson EK, Kakacek J, Patel A..(2013). Managing Epilepsy Well: Emerging eTools for Epilepsy Self-management. Epilepsy & Behavior, Volume 29: 133–140.

Back to Completed Projects


MEW Network