Family Psychoeducation Important in Bipolar Treatment

Psychoeducational family intervention (PFI) improves social functioning in patients with bipolar I disorder and reduces burden among close relatives, Italian study data show.

The patients and their key relatives either attended 12 to 18, 90-minute PFI sessions focusing on individual and family assessment, information on characteristics of the disorder, its treatment, early warning signs, management of suicidal behaviors, communication skills and problem solving skills or were assigned to a waiting list. 

If the findings are replicated in other studies, “psychoeducation should become an integral part of the therapeutic armamentarium of every mental health professional,” say Andrea Fiorillo of the University of Naples (Italy) and co-authors of the study.

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