Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Should we intervene at stage 0? A qualitative study of attitudes of asymptomatic youth at increased risk of developing bipolar disorders and parents with established disease

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jan Scott


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


© 2017 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd. Background: Studies of potential interventions for asymptomatic individuals at risk of severe mental disorders (ie, clinical stage 0) have focused on genetic counselling or the views of adults with established disease. No study has interviewed youth at risk of bipolar disorders (BD). Methods: Qualitative analysis of interviews with asymptomatic adolescent offspring of adults with BD (OSBD=7) and unrelated parents with bipolar disorders (PBD=6) to examine manifest and latent themes in the dialogue. Results: Core themes in both groups were ignorance regarding the magnitude of risk of BD onset in offspring and greater concerns for the health of other family members than for oneself. Parents expressed anxieties in coping with the uncertainty about whether their children would inherit BD and their desire to reduce this risk was partly driven by guilt and their sense of responsibility; PBD favoured the introduction of specialized clinical OSBD services. In contrast, the priority for OSBD was advice on coping with a parent with BD; OSBD favoured access to generic non-clinical peer group support, which they perceived as less stigmatizing than specialist services. Conclusion: The study highlights that youth at risk of BD should be allowed to express their ideas on what interventions they believe are likely to be most beneficial for them, as their views may differ from other advocates who are routinely consulted, such as PBD. A noteworthy finding was that OSBD thought that being included in the clinical dialogue about their parents' BD would decrease rather than increase their stress levels.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Davison J, Scott J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Early Intervention in Psychiatry

Year: 2018

Volume: 12

Issue: 6

Pages: 1112-1119

Print publication date: 01/12/2018

Online publication date: 11/02/2017

Acceptance date: 13/11/2016

ISSN (print): 1751-7885

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7893

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia


DOI: 10.1111/eip.12421


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric