(PSYCHIATRIC TIMES) - Intensive psychosocial intervention was found to improve overall functioning in patients with bipolar depression, concluded researchers of the Systemic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) trial. Results were reported in the September 2007 issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
The study included 152 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder. All participants met baseline Longitudinal Interval Follow-Up Evaluation-Range of Impaired Functioning Tool (LIFE-RIFT) scores and were followed up at 3, 6, and 9 months. Patients were randomly assigned to intensive psychosocial intervention (n = 84), including 30 sessions of interpersonal and social rhythm therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or family-focused therapy; or collaborative care (n = 68), including a 3-session psychoeducational treatment, a self-care workbook and an educational videotape.
It was found that patients in intensive psychosocial treatment had better LIFE-RIFT scores than patients in collaborative care (P = .04) over the 9-month period of the study, independent of bipolar 1 disorder versus bipolar 2 disorder status, randomized acute depression versus psychosocial acute depression, and study site. Patients in intensive treatment were also found to have better relationship functioning over 9 months (P = .02) than patients in collaborative care, irrespective of bipolar 1 disorder versus bipolar 2 disorder status, randomized acute depression versus psychosocial acute depression, and study site.
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