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J Affect Disord. 2018 Mar 1;228:160-165. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.018. Epub 2017 Dec 8.

'Taking back the reins' - A qualitative study of the meaning and experience of self-management in bipolar disorder.

Author information

1
Department of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.
2
Division of Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
3
School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, BC, Canada.
4
Department of Psychological Sciences, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. Electronic address: gwm@swin.edu.au.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Self-management (SM) is increasingly emphasised as a key aspect of bipolar disorder (BD) treatment. However, little is known about the subjective experience of SM, which might have both positive and negative impacts. The present study aimed to advance this literature through qualitative investigation of the experiences of people with BD who participated in an SM intervention targeting quality of life (QoL).

METHODS:

Forty-three individuals with BD engaged with an SM intervention and were later questioned about personal experiences of engagement with the intervention, including attempts to enact self-management strategies. Thematic analysis was used to identify important aspects of the experience of SM in BD.

RESULTS:

Four themes describing people's experiences of SM were identified: 1) SM for BD is empowering, 2) individual responsibility to self-manage BD, 3) SM strategies lack power to control BD, and 4) the relationship of SM to the healthcare system.

LIMITATIONS:

Potential limitations to generalisability may occur from self-selection bias in favour of SM and the QoL-focused nature of the present intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings of this research generate novel insights into ways in which individuals with BD engage with SM interventions. For most people with BD, SM invokes a sense of empowerment and responsibility, although some feel symptoms remain beyond their control. A sense of partnership between consumers and clinicians may emerge from attention to SM, but traditional medical approaches were perceived as neglecting this aspect of care. Considerations from consumer perspectives are presented to assist clinicians and researchers utilising SM interventions in BD.

KEYWORDS:

Bipolar disorder; Psychoeducation; Qualitative; Quality of life; Recovery; Self-management

PMID:
29248822
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.018
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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