Running Head: Family-Focused Treatment vs. Individual Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Family-Focused Treatment vs. Individual Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
Ivy Tech Community College
Over a nine month period, recently hospitalized bipolar, manic patients were assigned at random to participate in family-focused psycho-educational therapy or individually focused patient treatment. Along with mood-stabilizing medications, all patients received concurrent treatment. During the two year study, one year period of active treatment and one year period of post treatment, organized follow-up assessments were conducted at three month intervals. Patients in family ...view middle of the document...
While family participation was required, 34% of the patients had multiple relatives participate while 66% only had one family member participate. To determine that the two treatment groups were able to be compared, numerous demographics were assessed upon entry to the study which included gender, age, socioeconomic status, current marital status, and years of education. There were also clinical variables that included the age the illness was diagnosed, total duration of illness, premorbid social adjustment and the presence of previous episodes of illness. The only difference between the two groups were the age of at onset of illness and premorbid adjustment.
Through the course of one year, all the patients received individual medication management sessions with a staff research psychiatrist, and were prescribed at least one prescription for mood-altering medication used for the treatment of bipolar disorder. During the one year trial, at any point, the two treatment groups received the same medication protocols. The patients had also been randomly assigned to either the family-focused control group or the individual based treatment. During the early stages of the trial, contact with the psychiatrist psychosocial intervention team took place weekly for the first three months, and then became less frequent as the patients were becoming more stable. For the second three months, contact took place every other week and during the remanding time, once a month. There were sessions held with Psychosocial Intervention team during the first nine months of the trial and for the remaining three months, the medication management sessions continued.
“The family-focused treatment group (FFT), was modeled after the original structure of Fallon, Boyd, and McGill (1984) behavioral family management for patients with schizophrenia but substantially modified by Miklowitz and Goldstein (1997) for individuals with bipolar disorder and their families.” Each session for the FFT was an hour long each. During each hour long session, patients and their families received psychoeducation about bipolar disorder, problem-solving skills training, and communication enhancement training. Time spent with each training session depended on the family’s needs, prior knowledge of bipolar disorder, any family issues, and the patient’s clinical status. First, families received information about bipolar disorder, the...