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Feasibility and Acceptability of the 'HABIT' Group Programme for Comorbid Bipolar and Alcohol and Substance use Disorders

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jan Scott


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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Objectives: We investigated the feasibility and acceptability of an integrated group therapy (called HABIT) for comorbid bipolar disorder (BD) and alcohol and substance use disorders (ASUD) (BD-ASUD), a disabling clinical presentation for which no specific treatment has been validated. The 14-session HABIT programme employs psychoeducation-oriented cognitive-behaviour therapy (CBT) followed by mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) therapy. Method: Potential group participants were recruited from adult clients with a DSM-IV diagnosis of BD and an ASUD who were referred by their treating clinician. Observer-rated changes in mood symptoms and ASUD, attendance rates and subjective feedback are reported. Results: Eight of 12 clients referred to the programme initially agreed to join the group, six attended the first group session and five clients completed the programme. Group mean scores for mood symptoms improved over time, with slightly greater reductions in depression during the first module. About 50% of individuals showed clinically significant improvement (≥30% reduction) in alcohol and substance use. Attendance rates showed some variability between individuals and across sessions, but the average attendance rate of the group was marginally higher for the first module (86%) as compared with the second module (77%). Most clients reported high levels of general satisfaction with a group specifically targeted at individuals with BD-ASUD. Conclusion: This small pilot study suggests our intensive group therapy is acceptable and feasible. If findings are replicated, we may have identified a therapy that, for the first time, leads to improvement in both mood and substance use outcomes in clients with difficult-to-treat comorbid BD-ASUD.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Biseul I, Icick R, Seguin P, Bellivier F, Scott J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy

Year: 2017

Volume: 24

Issue: 4

Pages: 887-898

Print publication date: 01/07/2017

Online publication date: 20/10/2016

Acceptance date: 04/10/2016

ISSN (print): 1063-3995

ISSN (electronic): 1099-0879

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Ltd


DOI: 10.1002/cpp.2053


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