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The influence of psychoeducation on regulating biological rhythm in a sample of patients with bipolar II disorder: a randomized clinical trial

Authors Faria A, de Mattos Souza L, de Azevedo Cardoso T, Pinheiro K, Pinheiro R, da Silva R, Jansen K

Received 1 August 2013

Accepted for publication 12 September 2013

Published 26 June 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 167—174


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Augusto Duarte Faria,1 Luciano Dias de Mattos Souza,2 Taiane de Azevedo Cardoso,2 Karen Amaral Tavares Pinheiro,2 Ricardo Tavares Pinheiro,2 Ricardo Azevedo da Silva,2 Karen Jansen2

1Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande – FURG, Rio Grande, RS, Brazil; 2Health and Behavior Postgraduate Program, Universidade Católica de Pelotas – UCPEL, Pelotas, RS, Brazil

Introduction: Changes in biological rhythm are among the various characteristics of bipolar disorder, and have long been associated with the functional impairment of the disease. There are only a few viable options of psychosocial interventions that deal with this specific topic; one of them is psychoeducation, a model that, although it has been used by practitioners for some time, only recently have studies shown its efficacy in clinical practice.
Aim: To assess if patients undergoing psychosocial intervention in addition to a pharmacological treatment have better regulation of their biological rhythm than those only using medication.
Method: This study is a randomized clinical trial that compares a standard medication intervention to an intervention combined with drugs and psychoeducation. The evaluation of the biological rhythm was made using the Biological Rhythm Interview of Assessment in Neuropsychiatry, an 18-item scale divided in four areas (sleep, activity, social rhythm, and eating pattern). The combined intervention consisted of medication and a short-term psychoeducation model summarized in a protocol of six individual sessions of 1 hour each.
Results: The sample consisted of 61 patients with bipolar II disorder, but during the study, there were 14 losses to follow-up. Therefore, the final sample consisted of 45 individuals (26 for standard intervention and 19 for combined). The results showed that, in this sample and time period evaluated, the combined treatment of medication and psychoeducation had no statistically significant impact on the regulation of biological rhythm when compared to standard pharmacological treatment.
Conclusion: Although the changes in biological rhythm were not statistically significant during the time period evaluated in this study, it is noteworthy that the trajectory of the score showed a trend towards improvement, which may indicate a positive impact on treatment, though it may take a longer time than expected.

Keywords: neuropsychiatry, melatonin, depression, mania, lithium

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