This study looks at a new talking therapy for people who have Bipolar Disorder or Cyclothymic Disorder, and experience frequent mood swings: the ThrIVe-B programme.  Contact the team.

ThrIVe-B programme

The clinical and cost effectiveness of adapted Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) for Bipolar Mood Instability in primary care (ThrIVe-B programme): A feasibility study.

The study and its aims:

Bipolar Disorder can affect people in different ways: some people experience mostly depressive episodes, others experience more “highs” (hypomania or mania), whilst others find their mood changes from day to day. What many people find though is that having powerful shifts in mood can sometimes make it difficult to live life to the full, and can be a source of difficulties in relationships with others.

This study looks at a new talking therapy for people who have Bipolar Disorder or Cyclothymic Disorder, and experience frequent mood swings: the ThrIVe-B programme. This programme is suitable for people with frequent mood swings within Bipolar Disorder, and teaches skills for responding to rapid mood shifts and the sort of everyday life events that can trigger off mood changes. We hope that the findings of this study will help us plan for a much larger study to fully test how effective this therapy approach is.

Where the study is taking place

The study is taking place in two areas: Devon and Cumbria, supported by Devon Partnership NHS Trust and the University of Exeter, and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lancaster University.

What the study involves

The ThrIVe-B programme will involve participants attending 15 weekly group meetings and 8 fortnightly individual sessions, which can be delivered in person or by telephone, as well as continuing standard NHS care. In addition there will be an optional supporters’ group meeting during which friends or relatives can attend and learn about the skills covered, enabling them to better support you with use of these. If preferred, a friend or relative can attend one or more individual sessions for this purpose. Finally there will be a group ‘reunion’ booster session 3 months after the therapy has finished.

It is important to note that participants will have a 50% chance of being randomly assigned to the THrIVe-B therapy programme and a 50% chance of receiving their usual NHS care. This will be decided by a computer programme and participants will be informed of the result approximately 2 weeks before the therapy course is due to start.

Everyone involved, regardless of whether or not they are receiving the therapy, will be asked to complete questionnaires and research interviews at 5 points over 15 months. Participants will also be asked to download a smartphone application that will give alerts throughout the day and ask them to rate their mood.

Who will be involved?

The group is for adults with Bipolar or Cyclothymic Disorder who find that their mood is quite variable even in between episodes of depression or mania / hypomania.

To take part you must:

  • Be 18 or over
  • Have a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder or Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Be troubled by frequent mood swings
  • Be registered with a G.P. in one of the two study areas (which cover parts of Cumbria and Devon): you can check whether your G.P. practice falls into the study area by contacting us.

We will not be able to include people who are currently receiving another psychological therapy for Bipolar Disorder, who are receiving on-going co-ordinated care in secondary mental health services or have current drug or alcohol dependence.

How to get involved

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the research team (details below), or speak with your G.P. or your local mental health team. A member of the research team will then get in contact with you to help find out if this study would be right for you.