Enhanced Relapse Prevention Online

For Bipolar Disorder

We have recently completed our trial of web-based Enhanced Relapse Prevention for bipolar disorder (ERPonline). This study was funded by a Research for Patient Benefit grant from the National Institute of Health Research. ERPonline is a psychological therapy accessible via an interactive website. ERP is a psychological intervention that aims to help people with bipolar disorder to recognise and manage mood changes in order to reduce the occurrence and severity of relapses. The key elements are identifying your individual triggers and early warning signs for both mania and depression, and developing coping strategies to manage mood changes in everyday life. A full protocol can be found here.

In this study, ninety-six people agreed to take part. They were split into two groups at random – half could access the ERPonline intervention, while the other half received their usual treatment. One of the main things we wanted to find out was whether it was possible to find people who wanted to take part in this kind of trial, where there was no face-to-face contact with the research team. Interest in taking part was high, and more people agreed to take part them we had aimed for. Also, a large number of those who took part stayed in the trial right through to the end. This suggests that the way in which we set up the trial was okay for people who were taking part. We hope to use this information to support our application for funding to test ERPonline with many more people.

Throughout the trial, we asked those taking part to complete a number of interviews and questionnaires; our results are currently being written up for publication and unfortunately we cannot share them until the paper has been published. We will put a summary here as soon as we can. In the meantime we would like to thank all those who took part for their hard work and dedication throughout this trial, it is very much appreciated.

More information can be found on the ERP Online website: www.erponline.co.uk

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