Bruce L. Rollman, MD, MPH

  • UPMC Endowed Professor of General Internal Medicine
  • Director, Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology
  • Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Biomedical Informatics, and Clinical and Translational Science

Dr. Rollman’s research focuses on developing novel interventions to treat mood and anxiety disorders in primary care and cardiac settings. He has been principal investigator on six NIH-funded R01 clinical trials including the Online Treatment for Mood and Anxiety Disorders Trial that evaluated the impact of using a computerized cognitive behavioral therapy program and Internet support group to treat depression and anxiety in primary care; and the Hopeful Heart Trial that tested the effectiveness of a “blended" collaborative care model for treating both heart failure and depression.  Dr. Rollman pioneered the use of electronic medical record system alerts to identify patients for enrollment into clinical trials at the time of the physician encounter and at-scale, and has published over 100 scientific papers, including first-authored papers in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, and has 4 U.S. patents.  In 2015, he launched the Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology to mentor and support the careers of talented junior investigators.

Outside of work, he enjoys travel, reading, volunteer community service, and spending time with his family.

Education & Training

  • BA (Biology), University of Pennyslvania, 1984
  • MD, Jefferson Medical College, 1988
  • Internship, University of Maryland, 1989
  • Residency, University of Maryland, 1991
  • MPH (Epidemiology), Johns Hopkins University, 1993
  • Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University, 1995

Representative Publications

Rollman BL, Herbeck Belnap B, Abebe KZ, Spring MB, Rotondi AJ, Rothenberger SD, Karp JF. Effectiveness of online collaborative care for treating mood and anxiety disorders in primary care: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(1):56-64.

A 3-arm clinical trial that demonstrated the effectiveness of providing an internet-delivered computerized cognitive behavioral therapy program via collaborative care at improving mental health-related quality of life, mood, and anxiety symptoms.

Rollman BL, Belnap BH, Mazumdar S, Abebe KZ, Karp JF, Lenze EJ, Schulberg HC. Telephone-delivered stepped collaborative care for treating anxiety in primary care: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2017;32(3):245-255

This randomized “stepped collaborative care” trial for treating panic and generalized anxiety disorders in primary care reported significantly improved mental health-related quality of life, anxiety, and mood symptoms at 12 months that persisted for an additional 12 months following the conclusion of the 12 month intervention.

Herbeck Belnap B, Anderson A, Abebe KZ, Ramani R, Muldoon MF, Karp JF, Rollman BL. Blended collaborative care to treat heart failure and comorbid depression: rationale and study design of the Hopeful Heart Trial. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2019;81(6):495-505.

This is the “methods” paper for the Hopeful Heart Trial, the first study to evaluate whether a widely generalizable telephone-delivered collaborative care program for treating both depression and heart failure patients improves clinical outcomes more than collaborative care for heart failure alone or doctors’ usual care for these conditions.

Rollman BL, Herbeck Belnap B, LeMenager MS, Mazumdar S, Houck PR, Counihan PJ, Kapoor WN, Schulberg HC, Reynolds CF. Telephone-delivered collaborative care for treating post-CABG depression: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2009;302:2095-2103.

The Bypassing the Blues Trial (BtB) was the first study to apply a collaborative care strategy for treating depression following an acute cardiac event. Study nurses provided our intervention to patients via telephone, and at 8-months follow-up they reported significantly higher levels of health-related quality of life, physical functioning, and lower levels of mood symptoms than depressed post-CABG patients randomized to their doctors’ usual care. 

Donohue JM, Herbeck Belnap B, Men A, He F, Roberts MS, Schulberg HC, Reynolds CF, Rollman BL. 12-month cost-effectiveness of telephone-delivered collaborative care for treating depression following CABG surgery. General Hospital Psychiatry. 2014;36(5):453-459.

A follow-up analysis of Medicare and private insurance claims from BtB Trial, the first economic evaluation of a collaborative care intervention for treating depression following an acute cardiac event was one of the few studies to demonstrate a cost-savings from treating depression (intervention patients had $2,068 lower median 12-month insurance claims than patients randomized to usual care, and a $9,889 lower incremental cost per additional quality-adjusted life-year).

Click here for a more complete bibliography of Dr. Rollman’s works.

Research Interests

  • Mental health services research
  • Behavioral health
  • Technology
  • Interventions