Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) could give people with a recent bipolar disorder diagnosis a better chance of recovery, according to a new study of more than 50 people.
In results, which Professor Steven Jones of Lancaster University's Spectrum Centre described as "very promising" researchers found that those in the group, all of whom had recent a recent bipolar diagnosis, who received CBT made a better, more sustained recovery.
The CBT group received 14 hours of psychological therapy targeted at addressing patterns of thinking and behaviour which recipients wish to change, compared to a group of 34 people who only received ‘treatment as usual’.
"Compared with the group who were only receiving treatment as usual, recovery-focused CBT significantly improved personal recovery up to 12 months after the therapy ended," said Professor Jones. "This is an important result as better recovery outcomes can allow people to get on with their lives rather than having their lives controlled by their experience of bipolar disorder.
"Recovery enables people to feel able to take a lead in managing their own health, engage in activities which are personally meaningful and see recovery itself as a long-term and potentially fluctuating process.
"The government and people with a bipolar diagnosis have highlighted the importance of improving recovery in mental health. In bipolar disorder in particular, NICE [National Institute for Health and Care Excellence] guidelines highlight that with optimal treatment many more people with this diagnosis can return to work and live fulfilling and flourishing lives."
Read the full study ‘Recovery-focused cognitive–behavioural therapy for recent-onset bipolar disorder: randomised controlled pilot trial’ by Jones SH, Smith G, Mulligan L, Lobban F, Law H, Dunn G, Welford M, Kelly J, Mulligan J and Morrison AP at: http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/early/2014/08/27/bjp.bp.113.141259.full.pdf+html