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Erin M. O'Brien Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior [ Inactive ]

Dr. O'Brien completed her doctoral training at the University of Florida, focusing on the management of chronic pain and the interplay between insomnia and chronic pain. She completed her internship and post-doctoral training at Brown, with an emphasis on behavioral sleep medicine.

Dr. O'Brien joined the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior in 2010. Her clinical and research interests are in the area of behavioral sleep medicine, with a focus on the relationship between insomnia and physical and mental health, and the management of chronic pain. She provides treatment for sleep disorders and chronic pain within the Behavioral Medicine Clinical Services department at Lifespan. Dr. O'Brien also provides individual and group weight management treatment in The Miriam Hospital's Weight Management Program . Dr. O'Brien is the primary supervision on the Sleep and Anxiety rotation within the Clinical Psychology Internship Program.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

scholarly work

O'Brien, E. M., Dalrymple, K., Hrabosky, J., Chelminski, I., Young, D., & Zimmerman, M. (in press). Insomnia is associated with impaired quality of life among bariatric surgery candidates, Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.

O'Brien, E. M., Waxenberg, L. B., Atchison, J. W., Gremillion, H. A., Staud, R. M., McCrae, C. S., & Robinson, M. E. (2011). Intraindividual variability in daily sleep and pain ratings among chronic pain patients: Bi-directional association and the role of negative mood, Clinical Journal of Pain, 27, 425-433.

Dalrymple, K.L., Galione, J., Hrabosky, J., Chelminski, I., Young, D., O'Brien, E., Zimmerman, M. (2011). Diagnosing social anxiety disorder in the presence of obesity: Implications for a proposed change in DSM-5. Depression and Anxiety,28, 377-382.

O'Brien, E. M., Zimmerman, M., Chelminski, I., Young, D., Dalrymple, K., and Hrabosky, J. (2011). Severe Insomnia is Associated with More Severe Presentation and Greater Functional Deficits in Depression, Journal of Psychiatric Research, 45, 1101-1105.

O'Brien, E. M., Waxenberg, L. B., Atchison, J. W., Gremillion, H. A., Staud, R. M., McCrae, C. S., & Robinson, M. E. (2010) Negative mood mediates the effect of poor sleep on increased pain among chronic pain patients, Clinical Journal of Pain, 26(4), 310-319.

Dzierzewski, J. M., O'Brien, E. M., Kay, D., & McCrae, C. S. (2010). Tackling sleeplessness: Psychological treatment options for insomnia in older adults. Nature and Science of Sleep, 2, 47-61.

Robinson, M. E., & O'Brien, E. M. (2009). Chronic pain. Frank, R. G., Rosenthal, M., & Caplan, B. (Eds.). Handbook of rehabilitation psychology, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association (pp. 119-132).

O'Brien, E. M., Staud, R. M., Hassinger, A. D., McCulloch, R. C., Craggs, J. G., Price, D. D., & Robinson, M. E. (2009). Patient-Centered Perspective on Treatment Outcomes in Chronic Pain. Pain Medicine, 11, 6-15.

O'Brien, E. M., McCrae, C. S. (2008). Insomnia due to mental disorder. Winkelman, J. W., Henderson, J. H., Kotagal, S., Lee-Chiong, T. L., Lichstein, K. L., Murray, B. J., & Schenck, C. H. (Eds.). The sleep medicine case book-A learning companion to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, 2nd ed., Diagnostic and Coding Manual. Westchester, IL: American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

O'Brien, E. M., Atchison, J. W., Gremillion, H. A., Waxenberg, L. B., & Robinson, M. E. (2008). Somatic focus/awareness: Relationship to negative affect and pain in chronic pain patients. European Journal of Pain, 12, 104-115.

O'Brien, E. M., & Mindell, J. A. (2005). Sleep and risk-taking behavior in adolescents. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 3(3), 113-133.

O'Brien, E. M., & Robinson, M. E. (2004). Sex or gender: Influences on pain perception. XX vs. XY: Journal of Sex Differences, 2(1), 26-31.

research overview

My research has focused on the relationships among sleep and medical and psychiatric factors. Specifically, I have conducted research examining the relationship between sleep and pain, sleep and depression, and sleep and weight. I am also interested in how medical and psychiatric factors changes across treatment for insomnia.

funded research

Past funding:
Sleep Disturbance in Chronic Pain Patients.
Source of Funding: Mini Mitter/Respironics, Inc.
Term of Funding: 2006-2008

No current research funding