In adults with bipolar disorder, which group intervention is most effective in improving patient outcomes?
There is limited evidence that adequately compares the
effectiveness of different group therapies. Research suggests that
group psychoeducation may be beneficial in reducing symptoms of
bipolar disorder, when combined with medication. However, further
trials are required to determine the most effective group
Clinical and Research Implications
Very limited data from two small randomised controlled trials,
included in a larger systematic review, indicates that in group
psychoeducation as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy may reduce the
overall relapse rate, the manic relapse rate and the depressive
relapse rate in people with bipolar compared to participation in an
un-structured support group. A follow-up study using a small,
non-randomised sample from one of these trials indicates that these
effects are sustained over the longer term (5 years) and that
participants in psychoeducational groups may also experience
increased employment rates, job efficacy and autonomy.
Overall, more research is needed to confirm the initially
positive findings about group psychoeducation and to adequately
assess the effectiveness and comparative effectiveness of other
group interventions for people with bipolar disorder.
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