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.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The ThrIVe-B trial

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 finished. Please find below a summary of what we found.

The ThrIVe-B trial adapted a therapy called Dialectical Behaviour Therapy to see if it would help people to cope with and manage frequent Bipolar mood swings. There are few therapy options available currently for people living with dramatic weekly, daily or even hourly mood swings.

This was a small clinical feasibility trial to identify what changes need to be made before conducting a larger trial. It was too small to properly evaluate the benefit of the treatment itself.

The trials took place in Devon and Cumbria. 43 participants were placed randomly into two groups. Participants were interviewed at various stages and asked to complete questionnaires when the study started and 3, 6, 9 and 15 months later. Group Two also had the therapy which consisted of a 16-week course of two hourly group sessions, up to 8 short individual therapy sessions and a mood monitoring app.

Overall it looks like it would be possible to run a larger trial like this one, and our participants told us that there is a need for psychological therapies that can help them to cope with mood swings. Feedback from the trial participants and the research team flagged up two main areas where the design and delivery could be changed to improve a larger trial that could test out the therapy more thoroughly.

Firstly, we need to reduce the amount of information in the therapy whilst delivering it so that people get what is most relevant to them. Secondly, we need to streamline the number of questionnaires in the study and the methods by which people complete them to improve the quality and quantity of the feedback data. Participants, researchers and therapists gave us specific feedback that will help us make these changes.

We will be giving feedback to those involved in the trial and publicising our findings through social media, a short online film, the mainstream and academic media, and conference presentations.

Dr Kim Wright discusses the trial

This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [Research for Patient Benefit programme, REF: PB-PG-1215-20023]. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.