A qualitative study investigating bipolar patients' expectations of a lifestyle intervention: A self-management program

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BackgroundThere is some evidence supporting the efficacy of lifestyle interventions in changing unhealthy habits and reduce the risk of developing comorbid conditions in Bipolar Disorder (BD).AimsThis qualitative study aimed to identify what an optimal lifestyle intervention would look like for individuals with BD.MethodsThe current findings are based on one focus group and two paired interviews including a total of 10 individuals with BD (44.20 ± 11.11 years; 6 females). Groups' transcripts were analyzed using a narrative approach. Primary themes included facilitating factors and barriers, general content, outcomes, format of the intervention, and background factors.ResultsParticipants were in favor of a group-based lifestyle intervention as part of their usual treatment. The optimal group format would include 4 to 10 individuals, and comprise of 12 to 18 sessions lasting 1 to 1.5 h each. Accountability, motivation, interaction, and group activities were identified as contributing to the success of a lifestyle intervention.ConclusionsThis qualitative study provides important information regarding aspects of lifestyle intervention format and delivery for individuals with BD. We identified barriers and facilitating factors that should be addressed in health promotion interventions delivered within community mental health settings.HighlightsBD prefers lifestyle programs including both one-on-one and group-based services.Multidisciplinary group moderators are preferred.Accountability, motivation, interaction, and group activities are key factors.Stigma, being newly diagnosed, and confidentiality issues may be potential barriers.

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