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Mediation analysis of recovery-focused therapy for recent-onset bipolar disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Steven H. Jones, Dawn Knowles, Elizabeth Howarth, Fiona Lobban, Richard Emsley

Original languageEnglish
Article number100175
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
PublishedJul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2021

King's Authors


Background: Recovery focused therapy has been shown to improve recovery outcomes in individuals with recent onset bipolar disorder. However the process by which this is achieved is unclear. This paper therefore examines potential mediators of this effect using data from a randomised controlled trial comparing recovery focused therapy with treatment as usual (ISRCTN43062149). Methods: A single-blind randomised controlled trial compared treatment as usual (TAU) with recovery-focused therapy (RfT) plus TAU (n = 67) in participants diagnosed with bipolar disorder with onset within 5 years. Impact of treatment at six and twelve months post baseline on potential mediators (mood appraisal, growth and self-concept) for changes in personal recovery, social functioning and quality of life outcomes were first assessed. Mediation effects were evaluated on each outcome for mediators significantly impacted by treatment. Results: RfT had a significant impact on positive self-appraisal and stigma at 12 months and self-esteem and post-trauma growth at six months. Both self-esteem and post-trauma growth significantly mediated the effect of RfT on personal recovery at six months follow-up. Limitations: This is a relatively small study which was not originally powered to test for exploratory mediation effects. Conclusions: Improvements in personal recovery following RfT are linked to improvements in personal growth and self-esteem. This mediation relationship was not apparent for functioning or quality of life.

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