Self-management in young adults with bipolar disorder: Strategies and challenges.

Self-management in young adults with bipolar disorder: Strategies and challenges.

J Affect Disord. 2016 Nov 29;209:201-208

Authors: Nicholas J, Boydell K, Christensen H

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Early adoption of effective self-management strategies for bipolar disorder (BD) results in better clinical outcomes and increased quality of life. Therefore, facilitation of these strategies in young adults who are early in their illness course is vital. However, an understanding of self-management practices and needs of young adults with BD is lacking. This study explores young adult's perspectives of disorder self-management practices and challenges.
METHODS: Young adults with BD completed an online survey about disorder management strategies and challenges. Self-management was investigated through self-report and ratings of literature-derived strategies. Results were analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative thematic analysis.
RESULTS: Eighty-nine participants aged 18-30 (M=24.4; SD=3.9) completed the survey. Adherence to treatment, disorder psychoeducation, and sleep-management were the strategies rated most helpful. Six participant-reported self-management strategies were identified (1) Maintaining a healthy lifestyle; (2) Treatment attendance and adherence; (3) Participation in meaningful activities; (4) Engagement with social support; (5) Meditation and relaxation practices; and (6) Symptom monitoring. The most common self-management challenges experienced by young adults concerned the nature of the disorder, interpersonal relationships, and stigma.
LIMITATIONS: Participants likely represent a sub-set of young adults engaged with healthcare and therefore may not be representative of the population.
CONCLUSIONS: Strategies reported vital by those successfully managing their disorder are not adequately utilised by young adults with BD. Both differences in strategy use and perceived self-management challenges represent important areas of clinical support and intervention. This increased understanding will help facilitate self-management skill development in this population.

PMID: 27930913 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]