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Education on Circadian Cycle Improves Depression in Bipolar Disorder

Education on Circadian Cycle Improves Depression in Bipolar Disorder

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In bipolar disorder, disturbances of biological rhythm often lead to mood swings and relapses, and impairments in biological rhythm may predict poor functioning and quality of life.

These authors evaluated the effect of psychoeducation on biological rhythm and in the reduction of depressive, anxious, and manic symptoms at 12 months’ follow-up. This randomized clinical trial included 61 young adults aged 18 to 29 years who were diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Biological rhythm was assessed with the Biological Rhythm Interview Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (BRIAN). This instrument was developed for the clinical evaluation of biological rhythm disturbance experienced by patients suffering from mental disorders. It consists of 21 items divided into 5 main areas related to circadian rhythm disturbance in psychiatric patients, namely sleep, activities, social rhythms, eating pattern, and predominant rhythm. In particular, the BRIAN assesses the frequency of problems related to the maintenance of circadian rhythm regularity.

The bipolar patients in the study were randomized to receive either a combined intervention of psychoeducation plus medication (32 patients) or treatment-as-usual with medication alone (29 patients). The combined intervention seemed to be more effective than treatment-as-usual in improving depressive symptoms at post-intervention as well as regulation of sleep/social domain at 6 months’ follow-up.

The authors noted that improvement of depressive symptoms as well as regulation of sleep and social activities are known to prevent the onset of episodes of bipolar disorder and therefore improve long-term outcomes.

Result: Biological Rhythm and Bipolar Disorder: Twelve-month Follow-up of a Randomized Clinical Trial The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease | Oct 1, 2015 (Free abstract. Full Text $49.00)
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