Psychosocial Interventions for Youth With Bipolar Disorders: Combining Clinicians' and Caregivers' Perspectives

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Despite efforts that have been made to develop and evaluate psychosocial interventions for youth with bipolar spectrum disorders (BPSDs), there has been limited evidence regarding treatment delivery and consumer experiences in clinical settings. Two parallel web-based surveys were conducted to assess clinicians' experiences with providing psychosocial treatments to youth with BPSD, and caregivers' experiences with accessing and receiving care for their youth with BSPD. Clinicians who were members of the American Psychological Association's Division 53 listserv were invited to report on (1) their training in and knowledge of BPSD among youth; (2) types of treatments they had provided and their perceived effectiveness; (3) treatment-related challenges; and (4) further training opportunities or resources they desire. Caregivers who were members of the Balanced Mind Foundation listserv were invited to participate in a separate survey. They were asked to report on both negative and positive experiences they had in their most recent experience with accessing and receiving psychosocial treatment for their youth with BPSD. Overall, the majority of clinician respondents reported receiving training in providing psychosocial treatments to youth with BPSD, though most reported desiring further training and greater access to resources (e.g., treatment manuals, workshops, case consultation). Caregivers indicated overall positive experiences with psychosocial treatments for their youth with BPSD. Positive experiences included those associated with nonspecific factors of therapy, and negative experiences included content-related factors and barriers to accessing treatments. Implications for enhancing treatment delivery and overall experience of psychosocial interventions among youth with BPSD are discussed.

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