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Bipolar disorder is a source of marked disability, morbidity and premature death. There is a paucity of research on personalised psychosocial interventions for bipolar disorder, especially in low-resource settings. A pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) of a culturally adapted psychoeducation intervention for bipolar disorder (CaPE) in Pakistan reported higher patient satisfaction, enhanced medication adherence, knowledge and attitudes regarding bipolar disorder, and improvement in mood symptom scores and health-related quality of life measures compared with treatment as usual (TAU).
The current protocol describes a larger multicentre RCT to confirm the clinical and cost-effectiveness of CaPE in Pakistan. Trial registration: NCT05223959.
A multicentre individual, parallel-arm RCT of CaPE in 300 Pakistani adults with bipolar disorder. Participants over the age of 18, with a diagnosis of bipolar I or II disorder who are currently euthymic, will be recruited from seven sites: Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Hyderabad and Quetta. Time to recurrence will be the primary outcome assessed using the Longitudinal Interval Follow-up Evaluation (LIFE). Secondary measures will include mood symptoms, quality of life and functioning, adherence to psychotropic medications, and knowledge and attitudes regarding bipolar disorder.
This trial will assess the effectiveness of the CaPE intervention compared with TAU in reducing the time to recurrence for people with bipolar disorder currently in remission in Pakistan and determine the effect on clinical outcomes, quality of life and functioning.
A successful trial might lead to rapid implementation of CaPE in clinical practice, not only in Pakistan, but also in other low-resource settings, including those in high-income countries, to improve clinical outcomes, social and occupational functioning, and quality of life in South Asian and other minority group patients with bipolar disorder.
Measurement-based care (MBC) in mental health improves patient outcomes and is a component of many national guidelines for mental healthcare delivery. Nevertheless, MBC is not routinely integrated into clinical practice. Several known reasons for the lack of integration exist but one lesser explored variable is the subjective perspectives of providers and patients about MBC. Such perspectives are critical to understand facilitators and barriers to improve the integration of MBC into routine clinical practice.
This study aimed to uncover the perspectives of various stakeholders towards MBC within a single treatment centre.
Researchers conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with patients (n = 15), family members (n = 7), case managers (n = 8) and psychiatrists (n = 6) engaged in an early-psychosis intervention programme. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, informed by critical realist theory.
Analysis converged on several themes. These include (a) implicit negative assumptions; (b) relevance and utility to practice; (c) equity versus flexibility; and (d) shared decision-making. Providers assumed patients’ perspectives of MBC were negative. Patients’ perspectives of MBC were actually favourable, particularly if MBC was used as an instrument to engage patients in shared decision-making and communication rather than as a dogmatic and rigid clinical decision tool.
This qualitative study presents the views of various stakeholders towards MBC, providing an in-depth examination of the barriers and facilitators to MBC through qualitative investigation. The findings from this study should be used to address the challenges organisations have experienced in implementing MBC.
Among low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), bipolar disorder is recognized as one of the leading causes of disease burden for adults and is associated with marked suicide risk. There are limited data on suicidal ideation in bipolar disorder from LMICs. This study presents cross-sectional data on the prevalence of suicidality and associated patient characteristics among patients with bipolar depression in Pakistan, a lower-middle income country and the fifth most populous country in the world.
Participants were recruited through outpatient psychiatric clinics in between 2016–2019 in Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad and Rawalpindi between 2016–2019. Participants were aged 18 to 65 years with a known diagnosis of bipolar disorder and currently in a depressive episode. Suicidality was assessed using the suicide item of the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and levels of severity were categorized as absent, mild/moderate, or severe. Biometric data and biomarkers were obtained. Descriptive statistics were used to describe prevalence and proportional odds regression models were applied to establish correlates to suicidal ideation.
Among the 266 participants, 67% indicated suicidality of any level and 16% endorsed severe suicidality. Lower body mass index (BMI) (OR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.88–0.98), higher HAM-D score (OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.16–1.43), lower C-reactive protein (CRP) level (OR = 0.53, 95% CI = 0.40–0.70), and increased number of inpatient hospitalizations (OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.03–1.31) were identified as significant predictors of suicidality in the fully adjusted regression model. No patient demographic data, including age, gender, marital status, socioeconomic status, and years of education were associated with severity of suicidality.
There exists a high prevalence of suicidal ideation among patients with bipolar depression in Pakistan. Our findings add to the limited literature on suicidality in bipolar disorder in the LMIC context and suggest roles of biological variables such as BMI and CRP level in predicting suicidal ideation and potentially suicidal behaviours in bipolar depression. More studies are needed to see whether such findings can be replicated in other similar LMIC settings, and to explore potential physiological pathways linking BMI, inflammatory biomarkers and suicidality in bipolar disorder.
Emergency medicine residents may be transitioning to practice with minimal training on how to supervise and assess trainees. Our study sought to examine: 1) physician comfort with supervision and assessment, 2) what the current training gaps are within these competencies, and 3) what barriers or enablers might exist in implementing curricular improvements.
Qualitative data were collected in two phases through individual interviews from September 2016 to November 2017, at the University of Toronto and McMaster University after receiving ethics approval from both sites. Eligible participants were final year emergency medicine residents, residents pursuing an enhanced skills program in emergency medicine, and attendings within their first 3 years of practice. A semi-structured interview guide was developed and refined after phase one, to reflect content identified in the first set of interviews. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, coded, and collapsed into themes. Data analysis was guided by constructivist grounded theory.
A thematic analysis revealed five themes: 1) Supervision and assessment skills were acquired passively through modelling, 2) the training available in these areas is variably used, creating a diversity of comfort levels, 3) competing priorities in the emergency department represent significant barriers to improving supervision and assessment; 4) providing negative feedback is difficult and often avoided; and 5) competence by design will act as an impetus for formal curriculum development in these areas.
As programs transition to competence by design, there will be a need for formal training in supervision and assessment, with a focus on negative feedback, to achieve a standardized level of competence among emergency physicians.
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