Psychosocial Administration of Bipolar Ailment: Methodology of Performing a Systematic Assessment

This write-up is deliberately divided in to subsections to discuss the topic comprehensively and systematically.


In this write-up the creator particulars how a researcher really should carry out a systematic assessment of bipolar disorder. This will enable foreseeable future reviewers to conduct their critiques according to the most scientific requirements of the working day.

Review Strategies

In distinction to a narrative assessment, the author presents a summary of randomized controlled trials on the precise and centered medical question of the critique, applying specific procedures to look for, critically appraise, and synthesized the literature systematically. He delivers with each other a selection of individually performed reports, irrespective of their conclusions, and synthesis their final results.

The reviewer is very well informed of the wanted rigor in the preparing of a systematic review and conducts a formal course of action for this intent. This includes a in depth and systematic look for for principal reports on the targeted query, followed by assortment of scientific studies employing distinct and reproducible eligibility standards, critical high-quality appraisal of major experiments, and last but not least synthesis of effects in accordance to predetermined and explicit approaches.

Aims and aims

The writer endeavors to look at the success of numerous sorts of adjunct psychosocial interventions in administration of bipolar affective problem, applying an express a priori methodology in accordance to a standard review protocol.

A protocol was formulated to decrease bias, by having all critical methodological selections clearly and systematically, just before going to the literature. The protocol aimed to set out the duties and crystal clear and specific methods to be adopted in this systematic overview and to assure that success are reproducible.

Targeted concern: Are distinct approaches of adjunct psychosocial management for folks with bipolar ailment beneficial, efficient and remarkable to standard medical treatment solo, in relapse avoidance, purposeful improvement, and reduction of severity and period of bipolar episodes?

Definition of psychosocial administration for the objective of conducting a systematic overview: Psychosocial management is an umbrella time period employed to include many sorts of psychological therapies used in the administration of bipolar problem. This incorporates cognitive treatment, family members focused remedy, interpersonal and social rhythm remedy, psycho-education, and relapse avoidance. The writer contains research the place some of the adhering to components were considered:

1) Instruction about the ailment: All sorts of scientific tests integrated should have available basic education and learning to the subjects of the review intervention arm, in buy to enhance the individual’s consciousness and knowledge of bipolar condition.

2) Checking and self regulation: Monitoring, vigilance, identification and administration of acute indications and relapse avoidance need to have been section of
the agenda for the intervention arm. Individual’s potential to identify and deal with the relapse prodromes or the interior and external stressors that may improve their vulnerability to upcoming relapse should have been discussed.

3) Enhancement of adherence to pharmacotherapy: Among the included reports, forming a therapeutic alliance with the psychiatrist and great importance of adherence to pharmacotherapy should have been talked over to the therapy group. Management of facet outcomes, and professionals and downsides of medical cure and potential risks of abrupt therapy withdrawal ought to have been talked over.

4) Cognitive processes in bipolar ailment ought to have been mentioned with the intervention arm of integrated experiments. This may possibly include things like training on strategies to watch, examine and change dysfunctional habits and habits affiliated with undesirable mood effects.

5) Studies bundled ought to have explained the articles and length of the psychological treatment for the intervention arm, and have a abide by up interval of at the very least two many years.

6) A minimal complete of 6 periods should really have been sent to the analyze contributors involved in every review.

The earlier mentioned outlined features are thought of to be integral components of psychosocial administration of bipolar disorder. Diverse cure regimes, might give extra bodyweight and emphasis on 1 or the other, but it is deemed required for some of the over components to be introduced, no make a difference how briefly by the course of therapy provided.

Eligibility requirements with rationales

Type of research

Randomized controlled trials, Nonrandomised and quasi-randomized trials must not integrated.

Rationale: The reviewers only features RCTs, for the purpose that randomized trials are the gold conventional of examination of success, they make sure random allocation to intervention and manage arms of the experiments, aid eliminate assortment bias, and assure the similarity in characteristics and therapies of both equally teams in the long operate, apart from for the intervention underneath research.


1) In all included scientific tests, all people had a diagnosis of bipolar dysfunction I or bipolar condition II, according to explicit diagnostic criteria, identified by structured medical interviews.

Rationale: To keep away from bias resulting from diverse definitions in between research the author restricts the review to scientific tests utilizing DSM IV requirements as the reference regular for mental issues.

2) Scientific studies should really experienced not solely recruited clients who were struggling from acute mania or patients who had been hospitalized in acute wards at the point of recruitment. Reports need to have not recruited sufferers with only depressive or manic episodes.

On the other hand, the scientific tests may possibly consist of individuals attending working day facilities. Scientific studies with people with fast biking or blended affective episodes can not be involved.

Rationale: Reviewers need to consider to involve research in which the recruited people, existing with identical scientific photograph and need identical type of assist and therapy. The groups that tumble below exclusion criteria mentioned higher than have diverse requirements, severity of health issues and compliance to the intervention furnished.

3) Scientific studies may possibly include things like sufferers with gentle amounts of despair (defined as a Beck melancholy inventory of <15) can be included.

Rationale:This group of patients can benefit from therapies provided and be able to comply with the treatment.

4) Patients on both arms of the included studies should be on regular prophylactic medication.

Rationale: Standard prophylactic pharmacotherapy is the mainstay of treatment of bipolar disorder and it is considered unethical to interrupt medical treatment for experimental purposes. Non-compliance with the medical treatment will significantly change the clinical outcomes of either arm of the study.

5) The included studies only should have trialed adults (between 18 and 65).

Rationale: Studies should include examine the adult age group. The clinical picture, diagnosis and management of childhood bipolar disorder vary significantly from the adult conditions. Older groups commonly have co-morbid physical, mental and cognitive conditions that might introduce confounding to the results and would be very difficult to account for.

6) Studies that mainly focus on patients with other psychiatric co-morbidities or bipolar disorder secondary to organic causes should not be included.

Rationale: The clinical picture, diagnosis, management and complications vary in the above groups.

7) Only studies with patients with a history of at least 2 bipolar episodes and at least one episode within last two years should be included (not in full remission for more than 2 years).

Rationale: A minimum number of 2 episodes ensures diagnostic certainty, and helps avoid first time diagnostic errors to include other mental health conditions such as PTSD and schizophrenia. One episode should be within last 2 years, to ensure that the disease was ongoing at the time of recruitment and the patient was not in full long-term recovery or burnt out phase.

Outcome measures

The included studies should examine some of the following as their outcome measures:

1) Mean number of bipolar episodes and mean number of bipolar related hospitalisation.

2) Time to next episodes (as defined by DSM IV criteria for manic, depressive and mixed episodes).

3) Changes in global functioning and/or duration or severity of bipolar symptoms, using validation instruments.

4) Mean number of days fulfilling the DSM IV diagnosis a bipolar episode.

5) Mean number of episode free days.

6) Mean number of bipolar related days in hospital.

7) Rate of suicide in intervention and control groups.

Search strategy

As the rigour of systematic search methods is an important determinant of unbiased systematic reviews, extended systematic search methods including hand-searching, reference lists, personal communication searching of specialised databases and registries is used by the reviewer to carry out this review.

The search strategy aims at increasing sensitivity of our search, by minimising non-retrieval of the documents that were relevant to the review question and to maximise retrieval of the documents that are relevant to the review respectively.

Every effort should be made for the search to be as extensive as possible. This means that the reviewer may err on the side of retrieval of too many items and subsequently excluding those that are not relevant after direct examination of the papers.

Electronic search

The search terms used in a systematic review are constructed using the following strategy:

1) The reviewer derives major terms from the questions by identifying the population, interventions and outcomes.

2) Alternative spellings and synonyms are identified for major terms. The reviewer also includes terms identified through discussions with experts in the field and subject librarians of mental health trusts.

3) The keywords are checked in any relevant papers available to the reviewer at the outset.

4) The Boolean operator OR is used to incorporate alternative spellings and synonyms.

5) The Boolean operator AND is used to link the major terms from the population, interventions and outcomes.

6) Brackets are used for grouping of terms.

7) Each stage is double checked with a specialist librarian based at mental health library.

The following specified electronic databases have to be searched from inception with the following Mesh terms (or their equivalents in different databases):

(“bipolar disorder” OR “manic depressive psychosis” OR “bipolar depression” OR “manic depression”) Combined with the following subject headings using the Boolean connector AND (Cognitive therapy OR social rhythm therapy OR psycho-education OR family therapy OR family focused therapy OR psychosocial management OR psychosocial intervention OR psychological therapy).

The following free text searches are combined using the Boolean connectors accordingly: (“bipolar disorder*” OR “bipolar depress*” OR “manic depress*” ) AND ( Cognitive therap* OR cognitive behavio* OR social rhythm therap* OR psycho-education OR psychosocial intervention* OR psychosocial management* OR psychosocial treatment OR relapse prevention OR psychological therap* OR psychological management OR psycho-education OR family therap* OR family focus*)

1.The Cochrane Collaboration Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Controlled Trials Register (CCDANCTR) will be checked.

2. The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) will be checked meticulously according to existing database.

The following additional databases are searched to check the completeness of the review:




4. PsycINFO


Reference checking

The reference lists of all identified randomised controlled trials, other relevant papers and major textbooks of bipolar disorder written in English should be checked. This process will be repeated until no further reports or papers seem relevant, and until no new studies are found that are not already identified electronically.

Hand searching

The journal Bipolar Disorder, will be hand-searched. No further studies should be found though this method which were not already identified among the electronic hits.

Personal Communications

The authors of significant papers are identified from authorship lists over the last two decades. They, and other experts in the field, are contacted and asked of their knowledge of other published or unpublished studies, relevant to this review. No further papers are identified through this process.

Inclusion and exclusion process

Studies scoped by the search strategies elaborated earlier above were checked to ensure satisfaction of both inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Abstracts of all cited studies should be obtained. Studies will be excluded at this stage only if unequivocal evidence is found in the abstracts. When this is not possible full texts of studies are obtained to take a decision regarding exclusion. Excluded studies are recorded with details of the author´s reasons for exclusion.

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