Pioneering online treatment for people with bipolar disorder

The first effective web-based treatment for Bipolar Disorder based on the latest research evidence has been developed by psychologists.

People with Bipolar Disorder have problems getting access to and this online intervention, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, may offer a round the clock solution at a reduced cost to the NHS.

It was developed as part of the 'Living with Bipolar' project led by Dr Nicholas Todd under the supervision of Professor Fiona Lobban and Professor Steven Jones at the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Lancaster University.

92% of the participants in the trial of the online intervention found the content positive - and one said it had changed her life.

"I have encountered insights in the modules that have significantly helped me to survive the blackest moments. I cannot measure the value of this, as it has contributed to their difference between life and death. My husband and I are sincerely grateful for the immeasurable impact this has had on our family."

Therapeutic gains for the participants included improved stability, accessing additional help from friends and family, less reliance on services and more likely to turn to self-management.

One described the online help as "...a practical intervention...very positive, empowering, recovery orientated, fostering personal responsibility. It is not patronising at all..."

Focussed on recovery, supporting people to live a fulfilling and meaningful life alongside their symptoms, the programme includes elements of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Psycho-education delivered via ten audio-visual modules with a mood checking tool, interactive worksheets and worked examples. The intervention is supported by a peer support forum moderated by a member of the research team and motivational emails.

Dr Todd said the online intervention may be a way of overcoming the difficulties of enabling people with a severe mental illness to manage their condition.

"The intervention was most useful for improving non-symptomatic outcomes such as quality of life, recovery and wellbeing. These packages may therefore provide a useful alternative to the symptom focussed approaches."

Further research trials are required before this can be made available within the NHS.

More information: Todd, N., Jones, S., Hart, A., & Lobban, F. In Press. A web-based self-management intervention for Bipolar Disorder 'Living with Bipolar': a feasibility randomised controlled trial. Journal of Affective Disorders. www.sciencedirect.com/science/… ii/S0165032714004650

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Research redefines 'recovery' in bipolar disorder

Nov 29, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers have developed the first accurate tool for measuring bipolar recovery which takes into account the personal experiences of people living with the disorder.

Online therapy could improve student mental health

Apr 30, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A new approach to treating university students' mental health problems, using an online intervention, has been tested by researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. ...

Online tool improves gluten-free adherence

Jul 03, 2014

Researchers from Curtin University and the University of Sydney have shown that an online, interactive, theory-based intervention provides an effective means of improving gluten-free diet (GFD) adherence ...

New online programme helps beat bipolar disorder

Aug 16, 2013

A new online self-management programme to help those suffering from bipolar disorder has just been made freely available to the public. It was developed by Dr Daniel Smith, University of Glasgow, and colleagues at Cardiff ...

Recommended for you

Lift weights, improve your memory

1 hour ago

Here's another reason why it's a good idea to hit the gym: it can improve memory. A new Georgia Institute of Technology study shows that an intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic ...

Fat chats: The good, the bad and the ugly comments

3 hours ago

Cyberbullying and hurtful 'fat jokes' are disturbingly prevalent in the social media environment, especially on Twitter, says Wen-ying Sylvia Chou of the National Institutes of Health in the US. Chou is lead ...

Omega-3 fatty acids may prevent some forms of depression

5 hours ago

Patients with increased inflammation, including those receiving cytokines for medical treatment, have a greatly increased risk of depression. For example, a 6-month treatment course of interferon-alpha therapy ...

Ethical behavior can be contagious, study says

6 hours ago

A new study from Penn State Smeal College of Business faculty members Steven Huddart and Hong Qu examines the power of social influence on managers' ethical behavior. The Department of Accounting researchers find that managers ...

User comments