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.

This study has now completed recruitment in both Cumbria and Devon. The results should be available late 2019.

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 involves 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.

Participants 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.

Those taking part:

  • Are 18 or over
  • Have a diagnosis or possible diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder or Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Are troubled by frequent mood swings
  • Are registered with a G.P. in one of the two study areas (which cover parts of Cumbria and Devon).

We are not able to include people who are currently receiving another psychological therapy for Bipolar Disorder or who have current drug or alcohol dependence.

How to get involved

Recruitment to this trial has now finished in both Devon and Cumbria.