Online support can help people with bipolar disorder

Washington D.C. [USA], April 29 (ANI): Briton researchers have developed a cheap and accessible online relapse prevention tool for people, who seek support following treatment of Bipolar Disorder.

Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a lifelong mental health condition characterised by depression and mania.

It is treated with medication, yet many people continue to experience relapses.

Enhanced Relapse Prevention (ERPonline) is a psychological approach developed by the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, which teaches people with BD to recognise and respond to early warning signs of relapse.

Lead researcher Fiona Lobban from Lancaster University in England said the key elements are identifying an individual triggers and early warning signs for both mania and depression, and developing coping strategies to manage mood changes in everyday life.

The team analysed 96 people split into two groups at random - half could access the ERPonline intervention, while the other half received their usual treatment.

The findings suggested that access to 'ERPonline,' an online tool, was associated with an improvement in beliefs about mood plus increased monitoring of early warning signs of depression and mania compared with patients who did not use the intervention.

"Online interventions may prove an important cheap, feasible and acceptable step forward in creating a choice of evidence-based interventions for people with BD at different stages of recovery," Lobban added.

The research appeared in the journal of Medical Internet Research. (ANI)