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Recovery beyond clinical improvement - Recovery outcomes measured for people with bipolar disorder between 1980 and 2020

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/07/2022
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Affective Disorders
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)375-392
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date22/04/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


BACKGROUND: Outcome measurement in bipolar disorder (BD) traditionally focused on clinical improvement without considering other domains. Improvement trajectories in clinical and social-functional domains are different and can simultaneously appear in one while not in other domains. Measuring personal recovery (PR) has become a priority internationally. This review explored the shift in research investigating operational recovery definitions and underpinning factors of recovery in BD over the past four decades.

METHODS: Studies defining recovery domains (other than clinical recovery) in BD were systematically reviewed; operational recovery definitions and factors assessed in association with recovery were thematically categorised and integrated in a narrative synthesis.

RESULTS: Thirty-three studies, comprising 3638 participants from 19 countries were included. Identified operational recovery definition themes included i) PR ii) social-functional (SFR), and iii) occupational-residential (ORR) recovery. Examined factors were grouped as demographic, clinical and psychosocial factors. Predominantly demographic factors were linked to ORR and clinical factors to SFR. Depressive symptomatology was the only clinical factor associated with PR. Research investigating psychosocial factors in PR is emerging and has showed that resilience and appraisals of mood seem to be associated with PR.

LIMITATIONS: Studies not available in English or examining functioning without defining recovery were excluded.

CONCLUSIONS: Earlier operational recovery definitions of ORR and SFR were often arbitrary and inconsistent, and predominantly focused on clinical and demographic underpinning factors. While research attempts to follow the significant policy shifts towards personalised care by measuring what matters to individuals and exploring broader underpinning psychosocial factors, it is still lagging behind.