Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Self-Management Program May Cut Manic Episode Recurrence. (Risk Reduced by Half in Study)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Self-Management Program May Cut Manic Episode Recurrence. (Risk Reduced by Half in Study)

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- A program promoting better self-management of bipolar disorder reduced the risk of recurrent manic episodes by half, Dr. Gregory E. Simon reported at an international conference sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Preliminary results on the systematic care program indicate that it appeared to reduce depressive symptoms as well, but longer follow-up will be needed to answer the question definitively, said Dr. Simon, who is in group practice in Seattle.

He studied the program in 441 patients with bipolar disorder who were randomized to participate in the intervention or to continue usual care.

For the intervention, subjects attended an initial meeting with a specially trained nurse who crafted an individualized self-care plan and provided patient education on monitoring symptoms, adhering to the medication regimen, and dealing with side effects. The nurse then made monthly calls to monitor symptoms and medication adherence, as well as to provide outreach general support, and crisis intervention.

The nurse coordinated the patient's health care and provided feedback to the primary care physician. The nurse also communicated with family members and taught the patients a five-session psychoeducational program on self-management skills. …

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