Psychosocial therapies for the adjunctive treatment of bipolar disorder in adults: network meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background

Few trials have compared psychosocial therapies for people with bipolar affective disorder, and conventional meta-analyses provided limited comparisons between therapies.

Aims

To combine evidence for the efficacy of psychosocial interventions used as adjunctive treatment of bipolar disorder in adults, using network meta-analysis (NMA).

Method

Systematic review identified studies and NMA was used to pool data on relapse to mania or depression, medication adherence, and symptom scales for mania, depression and Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).

Results

Carer-focused interventions significantly reduced the risk of depressive or manic relapse. Psychoeducation alone and in combination with cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) significantly reduced medication non-adherence. Psychoeducation plus CBT significantly reduced manic symptoms and increased GAF. No intervention was associated with a significant reduction in depression symptom scale scores.

Conclusions

Only interventions for family members affected relapse rates. Psychoeducation plus CBT reduced medication non-adherence, improved mania symptoms and GAF. Novel methods for addressing depressive symptoms are required.

Declaration of interest

None.

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