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Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Jan Scott*
Affiliation:
University Department of Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP

Abstract

Background

Psychosocial factors may contribute 25–30% to the outcome variance in bipolar disorders. Sufferers have identified benefits from psychotherapy, but biological models and treatments dominate the research agenda. The author reviews research on psychosocial issues and interventions in this disorder.

Method

Research on adjustment to the disorder, interpersonal stressors and obstacles to treatment compliance were located by computerised searches and the author's knowledge of the literature. All published outcome studies of psychosocial interventions in bipolar disorder are reviewed.

Results

There is an inadequate database on psychosocial factors associated with onset and maintenance of bipolar disorder. While the outcome studies available are methodologically inadequate, the accumulated evidence suggests that psychosocial interventions may have significant benefits for bipolar sufferers and their families.

Conclusions

Given the significant associated morbidity and mortality, there is a clear need for more systematic clinical management that addresses psychosocial as well as biological aspects of bipolar disorder. The author identifies appropriate research strategies to improve knowledge of effective psychosocial interventions.

Type
Review Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 1995 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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