Mindfulness-Based Treatment for Bipolar Disorder: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Sanja Bojic, Rodrigo Becerra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Despite the increasing number of studies examining the effects of mindfulness interventions on symptoms associated with Bipolar Disorder(BD), the effectiveness of this type of interventions remains unclear. The aim of the present systematic review was to (i) critically review allavailable evidence on Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) as a form of intervention for BD; (ii) discuss clinical implications ofMBCT in treating patients with BD; and (iii) provide a direction for future research. The review presents findings from 13 studies (N = 429)that fulfilled the following selection criteria: (i) included BD patients; (ii) presented results separately for BD patients and control groups(where a control group was available); (iii) implemented MBCT intervention; (iv) were published in English; (v) were published in a peerreviewed journal; and (vi) reported results for adult participants. Although derived from a relatively small number of studies, results from thepresent review suggest that MBCT is a promising treatment in BD in conjunction with pharmacotherapy. MBCT in BD is associated withimprovements in cognitive functioning and emotional regulation, reduction in symptoms of anxiety depression and mania symptoms (whenparticipants had residual manic symptoms prior to MBCT). These, treatment gains were maintained at 12 month follow up whenmindfulness was practiced for at least 3 days per week or booster sessions were included. Additionally, the present review outlined somelimitations of the current literature on MBCT interventions in BD, including small study sample sizes, lack of active control groups andidiosyncratic modifications to the MBCT intervention across studies. Suggestions for future research included focusing on factorsunderlying treatment adherence and understanding possible adverse effects of MBCT, which could be of crucial clinical importance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-598
Number of pages26
JournalEurope's Journal of Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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