Family-focused treatment versus individual treatment for bipolar disorder: results of a randomized clinical trial.
Rea MM., Tompson MC., Miklowitz DJ., Goldstein MJ., Hwang S., Mintz J.
Recently hospitalized bipolar, manic patients (N = 53) were randomly assigned to a 9-month, manual-based, family-focused psychoeducational therapy (n = 28) or to an individually focused patient treatment (n = 25). All patients received concurrent treatment with mood-stabilizing medications. Structured follow-up assessments were conducted at 3-month intervals for a 1-year period ofactive treatment and a 1-year period of posttreatment follow-up. Compared with patients in individual therapy, those in family-focused treatment were less likely to be rehospitalized during the 2-year study period. Patients in family treatment also experienced fewer mood disorder relapses over the 2 years, although they did not differ from patients in individual treatment in their likelihood of a first relapse. Results suggest that family psychoeducational treatment is a useful adjunct to pharmacotherapy in decreasing the risk of relapse and hospitalization frequently associated with bipolar disorder.