First Web-Based Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Psychologists have developed the first web-based treatment for bipolar disorder based on the latest research evidence. Since people with bipolar disorder often have trouble getting access to psychological therapy this online intervention could be the solution to round the clock treatment at a reduced cost.

“The intervention was most useful for improving non-symptomatic outcomes such as quality of life, recovery and wellbeing. These packages may therefore provide a useful alternative to the symptom focused approaches,” said Dr. Nicholas Todd, who led the project. This program was developed as part of the ‘Living with Bipolar’ project led by Dr. Todd under the supervision of Professor Fiona Lobban and Professor Steven Jones at the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Lancaster University.

The program is focused on recovery, including elements of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Psycho-education, to support individuals with bipolar disorder in living a fulfilling and meaningful life alongside their symptoms. It encompasses ten audio-visual modules with a mood checking tool, interactive worksheets, motivational emails, and worked examples, as well as a peer support forum moderated by a member of the research team. Of the participants who tested the online intervention, 92% found the content positive.

Dr. Todd said this online treatment may be a way “of overcoming the difficulties of enabling people with a severe mental illness to manage their condition.”


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