CLINICAL RESEARCH: NHS trusts across the north west are to take part in a clinical trial to examine the benefits of recovery focussed cognitive behavioural therapy for people who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder for less than five years.

Lancaster University’s Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, a research centre dedicated to research aiming to improve the day to day lives of people living with bipolar disorder,  will test the new intervention on volunteers from eleven NHS Trusts in the North West of England.

Two groups of volunteers are being recruited, each consisting of 30 individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. One of the groups will receive recovery focused CBT and their performance on a number of measures will be compared with the other group, who will be receiving treatment as usual.

The centre said in a statement: “Recovery focused CBT is different from traditional CBT because it is driven by an individual’s own therapeutic goals and sessions are specifically tailored to the needs and individual bipolar experiences. Also, it does not require people to conform to a specific pattern of illness. Importantly, the focus of the therapy is not limited to the mood related experiences of the service users and they will be encouraged to bring into the therapy sessions other day-to-day challenges that limit their potential.” 

The trial will be led by Professor Steve Jones, Director of Spectrum Centre Lancaster University, and is part of the National Institute for Health Research-funded RECOVERY programme, hosted by Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust under the clinical lead of Professor Antony Morrison, the statement added.

Among the trusts taking part in the trial are GMWFT, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.