Purpose. To conduct a thematic synthesis to evaluate qualitative studies exploring individuals’ experiences of psychological-based interventions for bipolar disorder (BD).
Method. A systematic search of relevant databases (Web of Science, PsycINFO, MEDLINE, CINAHL) was conducted using predefined search terms related to ‘Bipolar’ ‘Qualitative method’, ‘Psychological-based interventions’ and ‘Adults’. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were selected and were then evaluated using established quality appraisal criteria. A thematic synthesis was used to synthesise the findings.
Results. From the thematic synthesis, nine analytical themes were derived from the ten identified research studies. These were helpful and unhelpful aspects of the intervention, increased knowledge of BD, mood recognition, control of
moods, change of perspective, mood stability, empowerment, improved relationships, and lifestyle changes.
Conclusions. Findings from the review suggest there were characteristics of psychological-based interventions that individuals with BD valued, and some which created barriers. There were elements from interventions that helped facilitate areas of positive change. The review highlights methodological
issues within the identified studies. Future qualitative research is needed to explore individual experiences within a range of psychological interventions, in order to understand therapeutic processes which may facilitate recovery.