From Science Daily: Structured group psychoeducation sessions could be more successful in treating patients in the early stages of bipolar disorder than standard peer-support offered by the NHS and the voluntary sector, research has found.
The study by academics at The Universities of Nottingham, Lancaster (Spectrum Centre) and Manchester published this week in Lancet Psychiatry, and funded by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), found evidence that psychoeducation -- in which patients are offered information on their illness and work with family members to develop personalised coping strategies -- could potentially offer an effective early intervention for people with bipolar disorder.
They have called for further research to explore whether group psychoeducation could be used preventatively to halt the further progression of the disorder.
The research was led by Professor Richard Morriss in the University's School of Medicine and Institute of Mental Health -- a partnership between the University and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and NIHR Collaborative for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands.
Professor Morriss said: "NICE recommended group psychoeducation for bipolar disorder was put into practice in the NHS in England and Wales. However, the effectiveness of the intervention was questioned in the media on the basis that previous research had been low in quality. We have conducted a large high quality randomised controlled trial of group psychoeducation against a rigorous control and this shows that overall there are benefits to people with bipolar disorder overall from this cheap and easy to implement intervention in providing information, support and increasing time before they next have a mania episode, and in especially in people who first develop bipolar disorder where it may considerably reduce the number of relapses in bipolar disorder."