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Int J Ment Health Syst. 2012 Sep 10;6(1):16. doi: 10.1186/1752-4458-6-16.

Improving care and wellness in bipolar disorder: origins, evolution and future directions of a collaborative knowledge exchange network.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 2A1, Canada. erin.michalak@ubc.ca.

Abstract

The Collaborative RESearch team to study psychosocial factors in bipolar disorder (CREST.BD) is a multidisciplinary, cross-sectoral network dedicated to both fundamental research and knowledge exchange on bipolar disorder (BD). The core mission of the network is to advance the science and understanding of psychological and social issues associated with BD, improve the care and wellness of people living with BD, and strengthen services and supports for these individuals. CREST.BD bridges traditional and newer research approaches, particularly embracing community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods. Membership of CREST is broad, including academic researchers, people with BD, their family members and supports, and a variety of health care providers. Here, we describe the origins, evolution, approach to planning and evaluation and future vision for our network within the landscape of CBPR and integrated knowledge translation (KT), and explore the keys and challenges to success we have encountered working within this framework.

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