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Psychiatr Pol. 2010 Jan-Feb;44(1):89-100.

[Group psychoeducation in the complex treatment of bipolar disorder--Cracow experiences].

[Article in Polish]

Author information

  • 1OddziaƂ Kliniczny Kliniki Psychiatrii, Doroslych Szpitala Uniwersyteckiego UJ CM w Krakowie.

Abstract

AIM:

To share our experience in introducing an original, structured group psychoeducational programme entitled "Familiarizing bipolar disorder" into the integrated complex treatment of bipolar disorder (BP).

METHOD:

The programme is partially based on the Barcelona Bipolar Disorders Program format and represents our proposal of a short, easily applied group psychoeducation. It consists of 8 meetings, conducted by a psychiatrist and a psychologist who are both trained in cognitive-behavioural therapy. Two groups of patients accomplished the programme so far. We would like to present our conclusions and qualitative observations.

RESULTS:

The patients noticed a change in a philosophical view on the bipolar disorder treatment (access to information, partnership between a doctor and a patient, appreciation of psychological aspects of bipolar illness), which is embodied by the psychoeducational approach. They welcomed our programme with enthusiasm and interest. Many questions were asked about different aspects of bipolar disorder, especially concerning pharmacotherapy, genetic and legal issues. Our participants assessed the number of sessions as optimal, but some of them insisted on devoting one more meeting to interactively discuss pharmacotherapy of BP. The programme revealed many other relevant issues concerning patients' attitudes toward bipolar disorder like: common presence of dysfunctional beliefs patients hold regarding their illness, unawareness of importance of mood stabilizer serum level examination, insufficient knowledge on hypomania or--in some cases--ignorance of a hypomania phenomenon. Moreover, patients appreciated the fact that the psychoeducational programme helped them to diminish the sense of stigma, shame, and the feeling of being different or worse. Finally we are amazingly impressed by the unsatisfied need existing in bipolar patients to share their fears, emotions and to be fully informed.

CONCLUSION:

Our observations support the statement, that the psychoeducational approach to BD is a crucial element of a complex treatment. It surely satisfies patients needs for information and may help to reformulate beliefs about their illness and its treatment. Further studies on the effectiveness and mechanisms of psychoeducational interventions are needed.

PMID:
20449983
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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