Psychosocial Administration of Bipolar Disorder: Methodology of Executing a Systematic Overview

This write-up is deliberately divided in to subsections to go over the matter thoroughly and systematically.


In this short article the author details how a researcher really should carry out a systematic critique of bipolar problem. This will assistance long run reviewers to carry out their reviews in accordance to the most scientific specifications of the working day.

Evaluate Strategies

In distinction to a narrative assessment, the writer gives a summary of randomized controlled trials on the precise and centered medical concern of the review, using specific approaches to research, critically appraise, and synthesized the literature systematically. He delivers alongside one another a range of individually carried out scientific studies, no matter of their results, and synthesis their success.

The reviewer is nicely conscious of the necessary rigor in the preparing of a systematic critique and conducts a official system for this goal. This features a in depth and systematic look for for major scientific studies on the focused query, followed by collection of experiments making use of obvious and reproducible eligibility standards, vital quality appraisal of most important research, and last but not least synthesis of final results in accordance to predetermined and express techniques.

Aims and targets

The author endeavors to look at the performance of many varieties of adjunct psychosocial interventions in administration of bipolar affective condition, making use of an specific a priori methodology according to a regular critique protocol.

A protocol was made to minimize bias, by taking all critical methodological conclusions plainly and systematically, prior to likely to the literature. The protocol aimed to set out the tasks and apparent and explicit strategies to be adopted in this systematic overview and to make certain that final results are reproducible.

Centered problem: Are various approaches of adjunct psychosocial administration for folks with bipolar condition helpful, efficient and remarkable to normal health-related remedy solo, in relapse avoidance, useful enhancement, and reduction of severity and duration of bipolar episodes?

Definition of psychosocial management for the goal of conducting a systematic review: Psychosocial management is an umbrella expression utilised to deal with several varieties of psychological therapies utilised in the administration of bipolar disorder. This incorporates cognitive therapy, family members targeted treatment, interpersonal and social rhythm remedy, psycho-training, and relapse avoidance. The creator incorporates reports the place some of the subsequent factors have been deemed:

1) Training about the sickness: All types of reports involved need to have available normal schooling to the topics of the review intervention arm, in purchase to strengthen the individual’s awareness and knowing of bipolar problem.

2) Checking and self regulation: Monitoring, vigilance, identification and management of acute signs or symptoms and relapse avoidance must have been aspect of
the agenda for the intervention arm. Individual’s potential to realize and manage the relapse prodromes or the inner and exterior stressors that may possibly raise their vulnerability to long run relapse should really have been mentioned.

3) Enhancement of adherence to pharmacotherapy: Among the the provided studies, forming a therapeutic alliance with the psychiatrist and worth of adherence to pharmacotherapy should have been discussed to the therapy group. Management of aspect results, and execs and downsides of health care treatment method and potential risks of abrupt therapy withdrawal ought to have been reviewed.

4) Cognitive processes in bipolar condition should really have been discussed with the intervention arm of involved scientific tests. This may include things like instruction on procedures to check, look at and improve dysfunctional routines and conduct involved with undesirable mood consequences.

5) Studies included must have described the content material and period of the psychological therapy for the intervention arm, and have a abide by up interval of at minimum two decades.

6) A minimum overall of 6 sessions must have been delivered to the research members integrated in every analyze.

The higher than stated elements are viewed as to be integral sections of psychosocial management of bipolar ailment. Distinctive therapy regimes, may well give a lot more fat and emphasis on just one or the other, but it is considered necessary for some of the earlier mentioned things to be launched, no matter how briefly by way of the system of remedy offered.

Eligibility standards with rationales

Sort of scientific tests

Randomized managed trials, Nonrandomised and quasi-randomized trials must not incorporated.

Rationale: The reviewers only features RCTs, for the purpose that randomized trials are the gold normal of examination of performance, they assure random allocation to intervention and management arms of the experiments, support get rid of range bias, and be certain the similarity in properties and treatment options of each groups in the very long operate, except for the intervention below analyze.


1) In all provided scientific studies, all patients had a diagnosis of bipolar problem I or bipolar condition II, in accordance to explicit diagnostic criteria, recognized by structured medical interviews.

Rationale: To avoid bias ensuing from distinctive definitions in between scientific studies the writer restricts the critique to research working with DSM IV requirements as the reference regular for mental disorders.

2) Research need to had not solely recruited individuals who had been struggling from acute mania or people who have been hospitalized in acute wards at the place of recruitment. Scientific studies ought to have not recruited clients with only depressive or manic episodes.

Even so, the scientific studies may possibly consist of individuals attending day facilities. Scientific studies with individuals with speedy biking or combined affective episodes can not be bundled.

Rationale: Reviewers ought to test to include research where by the recruited clients, current with identical medical photograph and need to have related kind of assistance and remedy. The groups that tumble underneath exclusion criteria mentioned earlier mentioned have distinctive demands, severity of disease and compliance to the intervention presented.

3) Experiments may well include patients with delicate ranges of depression (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 authorĀ“s reasons for exclusion.

Arlina Josse

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