A Pilot Study of Functional Remediation for Bipolar Disorder: Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a functional remediation program is a feasible and effective method of improving functioning in people with bipolar disorder. The term “functional remediation” refers to interventions aimed at restoring psychosocial functioning in patients with brain disorders by means of ecological neurocognitive techniques.

Participants will be between 18-55 years of age with a diagnosis of bipolar I or bipolar II disorder and will have experienced no significant mood symptoms for three months. They must meet study criteria for functional impairment, be receiving treatment for their psychiatric care and have no current problems with substance abuse or dependence.

The functional remediation program consists of 21 weekly sessions, each lasting 90 minutes. This intervention addresses neurocognitive issues such as attention, memory and executive functions, but it focuses even more on enhancing functioning in daily routine. The content of the intervention is based on tasks to be performed in the clinic as well as at home. Participants will be trained with exercises for memory, attention, problem solving and reasoning, multitasking and organization in order to improve their functional outcome. Most of the techniques are based on paper-and-pencil tasks and group activities.

This study has received approval from: IRBMED HUM00113668