Exploring the recovery concept in bipolar disorder: a decision tree analysis of psychosocial correlates of recovery stages

Bipolar Disord. 2014 Jun;16(4):366-77. doi: 10.1111/bdi.12153. Epub 2013 Nov 22.


Objectives: The recovery movement has generated interest in the concept of personal recovery, but little attention has been paid to it in relation to bipolar disorder (BD). The aim of this study was to examine personal recovery in BD using a staged model, exploring whether different stages are associated with different psychosocial and clinical profiles.

Methods: Adults with BD in remission (n = 75) were recruited from an outpatient psychiatric clinic in Hong Kong. Their average age was 45 years, with 11% and 45% working part time and full time, respectively. The data included stages of recovery, sociodemographic characteristics, clinical information, and perceptions of the importance of recovery factors and the resilience-engendering features of health services. Decision tree analysis was used to identify the predictors of stages of recovery, and receiver operating characteristic curves were employed to detect the rates of correct classification within the staged model.

Results: 'Respect, hope, and self-directed empowerment', older age, binge drinking history, early first diagnosis, and 'meaningful role' were all associated with being in a later stage of personal recovery. The first two variables demonstrated better classification accuracy than the last three. Using these variables, the classification accuracy of Stages 2-4 was adequate.

Conclusions: There are associations between the stage of recovery and psychosocial variables among individuals with BD in remission. Interventions that promote 'respect, hope, and self-directed empowerment' have the potential to facilitate personal recovery from BD.

Keywords: Chinese; clinical remission; mood disorder; personal recovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Decision Trees*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • ROC Curve
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires