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Psychoeducation for bipolar disorder: an exploration of the feasibility, acceptability and impact of group and internet-based interventions

Poole, Ria ORCID: 2014. Psychoeducation for bipolar disorder: an exploration of the feasibility, acceptability and impact of group and internet-based interventions. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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interventions are recommended for people with bipolar disorder to enable them to effectively self-manage their health, prevent relapse and improve their long-term outcomes. Psychoeducation comprises expert information (on topics such as monitoring mood, lifestyle and medication) and is commonly presented by health care professionals in structured individual or group face-to-face sessions. This thesis reviewed the evidence from randomised controlled trials and qualitative studies that psychoeducational approaches in different formats may or may not be beneficial for patients with bipolar disorder, and consequently found the evidence base to be sparse, particularly with regard to the benefits and drawbacks of different formats of delivery. This thesis explores the feasibility, acceptability and impact of a group-based psychoeducation programme for people with bipolar disorder in Wales (Bipolar Education Programme – Cymru) and a novel internet-based psychoeducation programme (Beating Bipolar) for participants of a randomised controlled trial. Adopting a pragmatic approach, and using both qualitative and quantitative research methods in a predominantly qualitative study, I explored and compared both interventions from the perspectives of patients and facilitators, using qualitative interviews, data from the Beating Bipolar online discussion forum and quantitative outcome data from questionnaires. Findings principally describe the facilitators and barriers to delivery in different formats, what participants liked and disliked about the programmes, the potential impact of the programmes and recommendations for future use, and identify the potential therapeutic mechanisms of psychoeducation. Receiving social support from the groups and enhanced knowledge and understanding of bipolar disorder from the educational content and shared experiences were found to improve many participants’ self-reported confidence in their ability to manage their bipolar disorder, and many made beneficial changes to their lifestyles, coping strategies and their attitudes towards medication and bipolar disorder in general as a result. Future research should focus on widening access to both interventions

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2023 15:20

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