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July 2021

Psychotherapy of bipolar affective disorder - A review of the research evidence

Author(s): Hautzinger, M.

Journal/Book: Verhaltenstherapie. 2000; 10: Allschwilerstrasse 10, CH-4009 Basel, Switzerland. Karger. 177-186.

Abstract: Purpose: Numerous controlled therapy studies showed that patients suffering from unipolar depression can be effectively treated with psychotherapy. Such an adjunctive psychotherapy to standard medication is also suggested to be helpful for patients with bipolar affective disorder. We planned to conduct a meta-analysis to test whether this assumption is also empirically based. Methods: We conducted a literature research using Medline, Psyclit, and Psyndex. We considered all publications in journals dealing with the topic 'psychotherapy and bipolar disorder' until the end of 1999. This search resulted in 212 English or Geman articles. Results: A more detailed analysis using the criteria 'diagnosis', 'intervention', 'sample size' and 'outcome measures' reduced this to 78 and finally 33 papers. Only 19 of these 33 publications were considered as 'controlled trials' and only 50% of these were original papers which definitely dealt with a sample of patients with bipolar disorder treated in a controlled trial. These 9 studies were heterogeneous referring to treatment approach, setting, clinical status of the patients, and outcome variables so that we decided against a meta-analysis. Therefore, the controlled studies were described in some detail. Conclusion: Although the results of these trials somehow argue for the usefulness of adjunctive psychotherapy for bipolar disorder, we still do not know yet whether it is effective at all and who would benefit from which treatment.

Note: Review Meyer TD, Univ Tubingen, Inst Psychol, Abt Klin & Physiol Psychol, Christophstr 2, D-72072 Tubingen, GERMANY

Keyword(s): bipolar disorder; psychotherapy; cognitive behavior therapy; meta-analysis; INPATIENT FAMILY INTERVENTION; RANDOMIZED CLINICAL-TRIAL; COGNITIVE THERAPY; EXPRESSED EMOTION; FOLLOW-UP; MAINTENANCE THERAPIES; RECURRENT DEPRESSION; LITHIUM PROPHYLAXIS; PHARMACOTHERAPY; METAANALYSIS


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