Psychological interventions for adults with bipolar disorder: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Matthijs Oud, Evan Mayo-Wilson, Ruth Braidwood, Peter Schulte, Steven H. Jones, Richard Morriss, Ralph Kupka, Pim Cuijpers, Tim Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background Psychological interventions may be beneficial in bipolar disorder. Aims To evaluate the efficacy of psychological interventions for adults with bipolar disorder. Method A systematic review of randomised controlled trials was conducted. Outcomes were meta-analysed using RevMan and confidence assessed using the GRADE method. Results We included 55 trials with 6010 participants. Moderate-quality evidence associated individual psychological interventions with reduced relapses at post-treatment (risk ratio (RR) = 0.66, 95% CI 0.48-0.92) and follow-up (RR = 0.74, 95% CI 0.63-0.87), and collaborative care with a reduction in hospital admissions (RR =0.68, 95% CI 0.49-0.94). Low-quality evidence associated group interventions with fewer depression relapses at posttreatment and follow-up, and family psychoeducation with reduced symptoms of depression and mania. Conclusions There is evidence that psychological interventions are effective for people with bipolar disorder. Much of the evidence was of low or very low quality thereby limiting our conclusions. Further research should identify the most effective (and cost-effective) interventions for each phase of this disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-222
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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