A Review of Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions for Bipolar Disorder
J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(suppl 11):28-33
© Copyright 2016 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Various forms of psychosocial intervention have been found efficacious as adjunctive treatments
for bipolar disorder, including family-focused therapy, interpersonal and social rhythm therapy,
cognitive-behavioral therapy, and individual or group psychoeducation. When used in conjunction
with pharmacotherapy, these interventions may prolong time to relapse, reduce symptom severity, and
increase medication adherence. Family-focused therapy seeks to reduce the high levels of stress and
conflict in the families of bipolar patients, thereby improving the patient’s illness course. Interpersonal
and social rhythm therapy focuses on stabilizing the daily and nightly routines of bipolar patients
and resolving key interpersonal problems. Cognitive-behavioral therapy assists patients in
modifying dysfunctional cognitions and behaviors that may aggravate the course of bipolar disorder.
Group psychoeducation provides a supportive, interactive setting in which patients learn about their
disorder and how to cope with it. This article discusses each of these interventions and summarizes the
evidence for their efficacy in randomized trials. Recommendations for implementing psychosocial interventions
in clinical practice are also given.