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Web-based integrated bipolar parenting intervention for parents with bipolar disorder: a randomised controlled pilot trial

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number9
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)1033-1041
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/05/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


BACKGROUND: People with bipolar disorder (BD) experience additional parenting challenges associated with mood driven fluctuations in communication, impulse control and motivation. This paper describes a novel web-based self-management approach (Integrated Bipolar Parenting Intervention; IBPI) to support parents with BD.

METHOD: Parents with BD with children aged 3-10 years randomised to IBPI plus treatment as usual (TAU) or waitlist control (WL). IBPI offered 16 weeks access to interactive self-management information concerning BD and parenting issues. Feasibility was through recruitment, retention and web usage. Clinical outcomes were assessed at baseline, 16, 24, 36 and 48 weeks.


RESULTS: Ninety seven participants were recruited with 98% retention to end of intervention and 90% to final follow-up (56%-94% data analysed of retained participants; higher rates for observer measures). 77% of IBPI participants accessed the website (53% accessed parenting modules). Child behaviour, parenting sense of competence and parenting stress improved significantly in IBPI compared to WL to end of intervention, sustained to 48 weeks. Impacts of IBPI on family functioning, parent mood and time to mood relapse were not significant.

CONCLUSIONS: Online self-management support for parents with BD is feasible, with promising improvements in parenting and child behaviour outcomes. A definitive clinical and cost-effectiveness trial is required to confirm and extend these findings.

Bibliographic note

© 2017 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health.