Internet-based psychoeducation for bipolar disorder: a qualitative analysis of feasibility, acceptability and impact

BMC Psychiatry. 2012 Sep 13;12:139. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-12-139.


Background: In a recent exploratory randomised trial we found that a novel, internet-based psychoeducation programme for bipolar disorder (Beating Bipolar) was relatively easy to deliver and had a modest effect on psychological quality of life. We sought to explore the experiences of participants with respect to feasibility, acceptability and impact of Beating Bipolar.

Methods: Participants were invited to take part in a semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis techniques were employed; to explore and describe participants' experiences, the data were analysed for emerging themes which were identified and coded.

Results: The programme was feasible to deliver and acceptable to participants where they felt comfortable using a computer. It was found to impact upon insight into illness, health behaviour, personal routines and positive attitudes towards medication. Many participants regarded the programme as likely to be most beneficial for those recently diagnosed.

Conclusions: An online psychoeducation package for bipolar disorder, such as Beating Bipolar, is feasible and acceptable to patients, has a positive impact on self-management behaviours and may be particularly suited to early intervention. Alternative (non-internet) formats should also be made available to patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bipolar Disorder* / psychology
  • Bipolar Disorder* / therapy
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic / methods
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic / standards
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Internet / trends
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic* / methods
  • Patient Education as Topic* / standards
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
  • Young Adult