Background: The importance of personal recovery in mental health is increasing widely recognised. However, there is no measure available to assess recovery experiences in individuals with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. This paper reports on the development of the Bipolar Recovery Questionnaire (BRQ) to aid recovery informed developments in research and clinical practice.
Methods: A draft 45 item BRQ was developed based on prior literature review and qualitative research. In the current study a panel of clinicians, academics and consumers rated draft items on recovery relevance and comprehensibility leading to the 36 item questionnaire subjected to psychometric evaluation. 60 participants with bipolar disorder completed BRQ along with measures of mood, quality of life, functioning and personal growth.
Results: BRQ was internally consistent and reliable over a month long test-retest period. BRQ scores were significantly associated with lower depression and mania scores and with higher wellbeing. BRQ was also significantly associated with better functioning, better mental health quality of life and personal growth. Regression analysis indicated that depression, wellbeing and personal growth were all uniquely associated with BRQ.
Limitations: Sample size did not permit exploration of the factor structure of BRQ. The sample is drawn from the North West of England thus it is not clear how these findings might generalise beyond this group.
Conclusions: BRQ is designed to assess personal experiences of recovery in bipolar disorder. The present study indicates that it is reliable and valid, being associated with both symptomatic and functional outcomes consistent with established definitions of recovery.
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