A study by researchers at the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT) comparing the relative effectiveness of two psychosocial interventions in bipolar disorder has recently been published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
Bipolar disorder is insufficiently controlled by medication, so several supplementary psychosocial interventions have been tested, all of which are lengthy, expensive, and difficult to disseminate. CREST.BD members Dr. Sagar Parikh and Vytas V. Velyvis co-authored a recent paper along with their collegues at CANMAT, which relates the findings of the recent study that compared psychoeducation (PE) and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in bipolar disorder in bipolar disorder. CBT is a longer, more costly, individualized treatment while PE is less expensive to provide and requires less clinician training to deliver successfully. To date, only a few studies have compared these psychosocial treatments. In this presentation, Dr. Parikh and colleagues compared the relative effectiveness of a brief psychoeducation group intervention to a more comprehensive, and longer individual cognitive-behavioural therapy intervention (CBT) with a sample of 204 individuals who live with bipolar disorder. They measured long-term outcomes in mood burden of the participants in both treatments. Findings indicate that, despite its longer treatment duration and cost, CBT did not show significantly greater clinical benefit compared to group psychoeducation. The implications of these findings for psychosocial interventions in the condition are provided.