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The Spectrum Centre conducts translational research into the understanding and psychological treatment of bipolar disorder and other related conditions.

We obtain significant grant funding from the ESRC, NIHR, MRC, and Lancaster University enabling us to work collaboratively with third sector organisations and service users, both regionally and nationally.


Studies currrently recruiting

"Rumination study explores the relation between social and economic environment and mental health"

There is varied evidence to suggest that the environment one lives in (social, economic, etc.) can affect one's health and mental health in particular. However, it is still unknown how that happens exactly or why and when. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether these mechanisms operate in the same way across different mental health difficulties.

Some studies propose that external factors affect psychological processes, which in turn can lead to mental health or illness. An example of such a process is rumination, which is a form of repetitive negative thinking but without leading to a solution to the problem and which research has shown to be linked to mental health.

The aim of the present study is to explore if patterns of rumination are linked to social and economic environment and in turn affect mental health.

To do this we are looking for participants who are over 18 years old, a UK citizen anywhere in England and have a primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder or depression or psychosis or have never had a mental health diagnosis. Once these inclusion criteria are confirmed via a short interview on the phone, participants will be asked to complete a one-off survey. If they wish to, participants may be contacted again in the future for the second phase of the study, when they will be interviewed in more depth about their experiences.

This project is being conducted as part of a PhD and it is funded by NIHR CLAHRC NWC. The study has received NHS Research Ethics Committee approval.

If you are interested in learning more about the study please visit http://bit.ly/ruminationstudy

If you want to discuss about the study, have queries or want to take part please contact Katerina Panagaki.

Telephone: 01524510388
Mobile: 07435421441

"This is the first study to develop and test out a talking treatment for people over the age of 60 with bipolar disorder."

The Spectrum Centre for Mental Health is running a study in the North-West of England to investigate the use of an individual recovery focused psychological therapy for older people with bipolar disorder. It has been designed to explore how interested people are in this type of therapy, what aspects of the therapy are most useful, and the impact it might have on a range of outcomes including recovery, quality of life, functioning and symptoms.

More information


What people say about the Spectrum Centre

"Their high quality research is vitally important for our understanding of bipolar"

The Spectrum Centre has developed to become one of the leading research teams in the UK focusing on mental health and in particular bipolar. Their high quality research is vitally important for our understanding of bipolar and I have no doubt that it will ultimately lead to new treatments. We are delighted to work with Professor Steve Jones and his team.

Suzanne Hudson, Chief Executive, Bipolar UK

"Leaders in highlighting the limitations of a traditional medical model approach to bipolar"

The Spectrum Centre is one of the few clinical/research groups exploring the impact of psychological models and concepts on outcomes for people with bipolar disorder. The group are internationally renowned for innovate and rigorous work, as well as the ability to maintain productive collaborations with other research and health organisations. They have been leaders in highlighting the limitations of a traditional medical model approach to bipolar disorder. This work has contributed significantly to a changing zeitgeist in science and practice around bipolar disorder. Patients have benefited from a more person-centred approach to the management of their disorder, and research has benefited from a richer view of measurement that goes beyond symptom outcomes. The sometimes provocative agenda of the Spectrum group has had significant impact because it is underpinned by sound methods, and appropriate self-scepticism. From a distance, my sense is that Professor Jones has been a particularly generative leader of Spectrum. He models the highest standards of clinical science, and has engendered productivity and passion throughout the organisation.

Prof Greg Murray (Swinburne, Australia)

"Strongly influenced by the service user voice; embrace new technologies; and impressively disseminated"

The North West Hub of the Mental Health Research Network is enormously proud of the work of the young, dynamic and innovative team at the Spectrum Centre. Their arrival five years ago, and rapid growth ever since, has been accompanied by an explosion of relevant, well designed translational research; research that is already helping us to know more about bipolar disorder and to improve the lives of those that are affected by it. It may be of interest that in the year before the Spectrum Centre opened only three people were recruited to NIHR bipolar disorder studies in the north west - since then the NIHR portfolio reports 2,564 recruits and the majority of these are through the Spectrum Centre! We don’t only appreciate the numbers of recruits though - the Spectrum Centre’s work is strongly influenced by the service user voice; embraces new technologies; and is impressively disseminated. We congratulate Steve Jones, his team and all who have been involved in the Spectrum Centre’s success over the last five years and hope that there will be many more good years to come’

Moira Winters, Mental Health Research Network, Hub Manager

"Rapidly established a position of national prominence in research on psychosocial aspects of bipolar"

Spectrum has rapidly established a position of national prominence in research on psychosocial aspects of bipolar disorder. This is reflected by the centre obtaining and leading the PARADES Programme Grant from NIHR, the invitation of Professor Jones and Dr Lobban to the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group stakeholder meeting and the appointment of Professor Jones to the NICE Clinical Guideline Development Group. The NICE Guideline has international importance and the work underpinning the Guideline is being co-produced with experts in the Netherlands. Spectrum has also established other international collaborations such as Professor Sheri Johnson at Berkeley, US and Dr Erin Machala in Vancouver. My own institution, the University of Nottingham, plans to continue its collaboration with Spectrum and continues to discuss possible collaborations in research of national and international importance such as CLAHRC.

Prof Richard Morriss (Nottingham UK and NICE Chairperson)

"In the process of conducting this work, they have helped train a new generation of leading scientists"

Spectrum rapidly developed as a leading worldwide center for the study of bipolar disorder. They established two particular strengths: a) conducting psychological treatment outcome studies and b) integrating consumer perspectives into their work. The convergence of these two themes sets the stage for the development of highly innovative work on sophisticated, empirically-based web-based interventions for persons with bipolar disorder and their family members. In the process of conducting this work, they have helped train a new generation of leading scientists. The research accomplished, the research begun, and the human investments are certain to influence the field for decades to come.

Prof Sheri Johnson (Berkeley, USA)


Understanding Bipolar Disorder

Understanding Bipolar Disorder Report

Why some people experience extreme mood states and what can help

This is a report commissioned by the British Psychological Society's Division of Clinical Psychology to provide a psychological perspective on the experience and treatment of Bipolar Disorder, written by a large group of academics, researchers, professionals and service users lead by Professor Steven Jones, Dr Fiona Lobban and Anne Cooke.

Click here to download this report free of charge (PDF)

Spectrum Connect Newsletter
The Spectrum Connect Newsletter goes out to all members of Spectrum Connect to help us keep you up to date on our work. You can also read them online by clicking the links below.
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Get involved
We actively encourage input from people who have experienced bipolar mood fluctuations, their relatives, friends, partners, carers and also individuals who are interested in mental health research but have not experienced mental illness. This input is vital for improving our understanding about the experience and management of Bipolar Disorder. To find out more visit our getting involved pages.
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