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The long-term efficacy of psychological interventions for bipolar
disorders has not been tested.
This study assessed the efficacy of group psychoeducation to prevent
recurrences and to reduce time spent ill for people with bipolar
A randomised controlled trial with masked outcome assessment comparing
group psychoeducation and non-structured group intervention during 5-year
follow-up. One hundred and twenty people with bipolar disorders were
included in the study and 99 completed 5-year follow-up. Time to any
recurrence, number of recurrences, total number of days spent ill,
frequency and length of hospitalisations were the main outcome
At the 5-year follow-up, time to any recurrence was longer for the
psychoeducation group (log rank=9.953, P<0.002). The
psychoeducation group had fewer recurrences (3.86 v.
8.37, F=23.6, P<0.0001) of any type
and they spent less time acutely ill (154 v. 586 days,
F=31.66, P=0.0001). The median
number of days of hospitalisation per hospitalised participant was also
lower for the psychoeducation group (45 v. 30,
Six-month group psychoeducation has long-lasting prophylactic effects in
individuals with bipolar disorders. Group psychoeducation is the first
psychological intervention showing such a long-term maintained efficacy
in people with bipolar disorders.
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