The symptoms of bipolar disorder, particularly in young individuals, can often remain unrecognized for an extended period of time, resulting in a significant delay in achieving an accurate diagnosis that may exceed 8 to 10 years. Unfortunately, as the duration of untreated bipolar disorder increases, the affected individual faces increasingly adverse consequences. That’s why it is crucial to enhance our capacity to promptly address the symptoms of bipolar disorder. As explained in my previous blog post, to facilitate this improvement, we have created a manualized telehealth-based group psychoeducational program for individuals at high risk for bipolar disorder in the Greater Vancouver Area.
Since recruitment commenced, we have been contacted by over one hundred individuals interested in this study. Of this group, over fifty have completed a phone interview, and we are currently conducting screening sessions to determine their eligibility for the study. During these sessions, participants undergo a clinical evaluation to confirm whether they meet the criteria for being considered high risk for bipolar disorder. Our first cohort of five has completed five of the eight psychoeducation sessions thus far. Our next cohort will begin their sessions mid-October. Recruitment will continue until we reach a total of twenty eligible participants. Our objective is to evaluate the feasibility of this intervention being able to enhance one’s understanding of bipolar disorder, diminish self-stigmatization, promote help-seeking behaviour, and bolster resilience among individuals at high risk. To read more about participant eligibility and the study’s involvement, feel free to read our last blog post here.
We are also looking to support two individuals with lived experience as partners in this research. Ideally, we are looking for young adults (19-24 years old) with bipolar disorder who have relevant experience as patient partners in research. Patient partners will participate in the research planning discussions, help with participant recruitment and also help with incorporating participants’ feedback in the revised version of the psychoeducation program. They will be compensated for their time at $40/hour.
If you are interested in learning more about this study or you feel that you may be an eligible patient partner, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for continuous updates on the progress of this project, as I will be sharing them here on the CREST.BD Bipolar Blog.