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11-04-2013 | Mental health | Article

Bipolar recovery questionnaire is valid measure


Free abstract

medwireNews: Researchers have devised a bipolar recovery questionnaire (BRQ) that appears to be reliable and valid for assessing personal recovery in patients with bipolar disorder.

"BRG is the first self-report tool specifically designed to capture the subjective experience of recovery in individuals with bipolar disorder," say Steven Jones (Lancaster University, UK) and colleagues.

"The results indicate that the BRQ is not solely a measure of either functioning or mood symptoms but appears to capture a combination of these elements."

The 36-item questionnaire, based on a review of the literature and qualitative research, was developed by the researchers and its recovery relevance and comprehensibility rated by a panel of clinicians, academics, and consumers.

A total of 60 participants - 87% with bipolar I disorder and 13% with bipolar II disorder - completed the BRQ, 28 of whom completed it for a second time 4 weeks later.

The findings confirmed that the questionnaire had good-to-excellent consistency and excellent test-retest reliability.

Scores on the BRQ were significantly associated with symptom scores, in that total BRQ score correlated negatively with depression symptoms, as measured on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Internal States Scale (ISS).

Specific associations were also seen between BRQ scores and depression and elevated mood items on the HDRS and Bech-Refaelson Mania Scale, respectively, suggesting lower mania and improved depression with increased recovery.

A significant positive association was seen between BRQ score and wellbeing on the ISS.

In addition to being associated with symptoms, BRQ score was also associated with improvements in overall functioning, improved mental health, improved positive wellbeing, and experience of personal growth.

Recovery, as indicated by BRQ scores, was associated with the majority of items on the Post-Traumatic Growth Inventory, with particularly strong associations seen for items concerned with a stronger sense of being able to cope with challenges and a greater acceptance of how life can work out.

Regression analysis indicated that personal growth, wellbeing, and self-reported depression were all uniquely associated with BRQ score.

"The current findings suggest that BRQ has potential as a method for economically evaluating recovery outcomes in research studies and clinical practice for people with bipolar disorder," the researchers report.

Measuring personal recovery in addition to traditional measures of symptom and relapse outcomes "offers important opportunities to understand more about which treatments are beneficial for clinical and personal recovery respectively with a view to developing treatment programmes which offer an optimal balance between these elements," they point out.

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Lucy Piper, Senior medwireNews Reporter

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