Integrated psychological therapy for people with bipolar disorder and co-morbid alcohol use: A feasibility and acceptability randomised controlled trial

Steven Jones, Heather Robinson, Lisa Riste, Chris Roberts, Sarah Peters, Lucy Bateman, Emma Weymouth, Christine Barrowclough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Co-morbid substance misuse, particularly alcohol, is common in bipolar disorder (BD) and associated with worse treatment outcomes. Research into psychological interventions for substance misuse in BD is at an early stage and no studies have specifically targeted problematic alcohol use. This paper describes the context and protocol for a feasibility and acceptability randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluating a novel intervention combining motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioural therapy (MI-CBT) for participants with BD and problematic alcohol use, developed in collaboration with people with lived experience of both issues. Methods and design: An RCT will assess the feasibility and acceptability of MI-CBT in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) compared with TAU alone. Participants will be recruited from across the North West of England through NHS services and self-referral. The primary outcomes will be the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention assessed by recruitment to target, adherence to intervention, retention rate at follow-up, absence of adverse events and qualitative analysis of participants’ reported experiences of intervention. The effect size of the impact of the intervention on alcohol use and mood outcomes will also be estimated. In addition, we will explore a number of potential process variables in therapy. Discussion: This is the first RCT evaluating MI-CBT for BD and problematic alcohol use. Given the prevalence and impact of alcohol problems in BD this novel integrated intervention may have potential to offer important improvements in clinical and functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-198
Number of pages6
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials Communications
Volume10
Early online date8 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Bipolar
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Substance

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