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Psychology & Neuroscience

On-line version ISSN 1983-3288

Abstract

BATISTA, Tarciso Aparecido; BAES, Cristiane Von Werne  and  JURUENA, Mario Francisco. Efficacy of psychoeducation in bipolar patients: systematic review of randomized trials. Psychol. Neurosci. [online]. 2011, vol.4, n.3, pp. 409-416. ISSN 1983-3288.  http://dx.doi.org/10.3922/j.psns.2011.3.014.

Bipolar disorder is a recurrent and chronic disorder with significant morbidity and mortality. Currently, pharmacological treatment is considered indispensable in bipolar disorder. However, despite advances in this area, treatment remains suboptimal. A large body of research has shown that innumerable psychosocial factors influence the emergence of mood disorders. Therefore, in addition to pharmacological strategies, psychological interventions are increasingly recognized as an essential component in the treatment of bipolar patients. Among the various approaches of psychosocial interventions, psychoeducation (PE) has been one of the most used. Thus, the aim of this review was to evaluate the efficacy of PE in the clinical course, treatment adherence, and psychosocial functioning of bipolar patients by collecting data from controlled trials that used solely PE as a psychosocial approach. A systematic review of the literature was performed in the PubMed and SCOPUS databases, without date limits, using the following keywords: Psychoeducation and Bipolar disorder. We found 13 randomized controlled trials. Psychoeducation significantly improved the clinical course, treatment adherence, and psychosocial functioning of bipolar patients. It also reduced the number of relapses and recurrences per patient and increased the time to depressive, manic, hypomanic, and mixed recurrences. The number and length of hospitalizations per patient were also lower in patients who received PE. Although we found a limited number of randomized controlled trials that evaluated the efficacy of PE in bipolar disorder, the studies showed positive results in reducing relapse rates and improving long-term treatment adherence. Additionally, PE intervention improves the knowledge of the illness for both patients and caregivers to reduce their distress and improve overall social functioning.

Keywords : psychoeducation; clinical course; treatment adherence; psychosocial functioning; bipolar disorder.

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