A qualitative study investigating bipolar patients' expectations of a lifestyle intervention: A self-management program

Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2018 Aug;32(4):555-560. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2018.03.002. Epub 2018 Mar 9.


Background: There is some evidence supporting the efficacy of lifestyle interventions in changing unhealthy habits and reduce the risk of developing comorbid conditions in Bipolar Disorder (BD).

Aims: This qualitative study aimed to identify what an optimal lifestyle intervention would look like for individuals with BD.

Methods: The current findings are based on one focus group and two paired interviews including a total of 10 individuals with BD (44.20 ± 11.11 years; 6 females). Groups' transcripts were analyzed using a narrative approach. Primary themes included facilitating factors and barriers, general content, outcomes, format of the intervention, and background factors.

Results: Participants were in favor of a group-based lifestyle intervention as part of their usual treatment. The optimal group format would include 4 to 10 individuals, and comprise of 12 to 18 sessions lasting 1 to 1.5 h each. Accountability, motivation, interaction, and group activities were identified as contributing to the success of a lifestyle intervention.

Conclusions: This qualitative study provides important information regarding aspects of lifestyle intervention format and delivery for individuals with BD. We identified barriers and facilitating factors that should be addressed in health promotion interventions delivered within community mental health settings.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder; Lifestyle intervention; Nutrition; Physical activity; Qualitative; Wellbeing.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Qualitative Research
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Self-Management*