International multi-site survey on the use of online support groups in bipolar disorder

Rita Bauer, Jörn Conell, Tasha Glenn, Martin Alda, Raffaella Ardau, Bernhard T. Baune, Michael Berk, Yuly Bersudsky, Amy Bilderbeck, Alberto Bocchetta, Letizia Bossini, Angela M. Paredes Castro, Eric Y.W. Cheung, Caterina Chillotti, Sabine Choppin, Maria Del Zompo, Rodrigo Dias, Seetal Dodd, Anne Duffy, Bruno EtainAndrea Fagiolini, Miryam Fernández Hernandez, Julie Garnham, John Geddes, Jonas Gildebro, Ana Gonzalez-Pinto, Guy M. Goodwin, Paul Grof, Hirohiko Harima, Stefanie Hassel, Chantal Henry, Diego Hidalgo-Mazzei, Vaisnvy Kapur, Girish Kunigiri, Beny Lafer, Erik R. Larsen, Ute Lewitzka, Rasmus W. Licht, Anne Hvenegaard Lund, Blazej Misiak, Patryk Piotrowski, Scott Monteith, Rodrigo Munoz, Takako Nakanotani, René E. Nielsen, Claire O’Donovan, Yasushi Okamura, Yamima Osher, Andreas Reif, Philipp Ritter, Janusz K. Rybakowski, Kemal Sagduyu, Brett Sawchuk, Elon Schwartz, Ângela M. Scippa, Claire Slaney, Ahmad H. Sulaiman, Kirsi Suominen, Aleksandra Suwalska, Peter Tam, Yoshitaka Tatebayashi, Leonardo Tondo, Eduard Vieta, Maj Vinberg, Biju Viswanath, Julia Volkert, Mark Zetin, Peter C. Whybrow, Michael Bauer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Peer support is an established component of recovery from bipolar disorder, and online support groups may offer opportunities to expand the use of peer support at the patient’s convenience. Prior research in bipolar disorder has reported value from online support groups. Aims: To understand the use of online support groups by patients with bipolar disorder as part of a larger project about information seeking. Methods: The results are based on a one-time, paper-based anonymous survey about information seeking by patients with bipolar disorder, which was translated into 12 languages. The survey was completed between March 2014 and January 2016 and included questions on the use of online support groups. All patients were diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Analysis included descriptive statistics and general estimating equations to account for correlated data. Results and conclusions: The survey was completed by 1222 patients in 17 countries. The patients used the Internet at a percentage similar to the general public. Of the Internet users who looked online for information about bipolar disorder, only 21.0% read or participated in support groups, chats, or forums for bipolar disorder (12.8% of the total sample). Given the benefits reported in prior research, clarification of the role of online support groups in bipolar disorder is needed. With only a minority of patients using online support groups, there are analytical challenges for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-476
Number of pages4
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Volume71
Issue number6
Early online date11 Jul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Nordic Journal of Psychiatry on 11 July 2017 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/08039488.2017.1334819

Keywords

  • bipolar disorder
  • Internet
  • online support groups
  • self-help
  • survey

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    Bauer, R., Conell, J., Glenn, T., Alda, M., Ardau, R., Baune, B. T., Berk, M., Bersudsky, Y., Bilderbeck, A., Bocchetta, A., Bossini, L., Paredes Castro, A. M., Cheung, E. Y. W., Chillotti, C., Choppin, S., Zompo, M. D., Dias, R., Dodd, S., Duffy, A., ... Bauer, M. (2017). International multi-site survey on the use of online support groups in bipolar disorder. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry , 71(6), 473-476. https://doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2017.1334819