Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Bipolar Disorder

2014-07-24 14:05:42 | BioPortfolio


The purpose of the study is to investigate the efficacy of mindfulness-based cognitive-behavior therapy (MBCT) for improvement of symptoms associated with bipolar disorder, by comparing MBCT to supportive psychotherapy. Patients who participate in this study will be randomly assigned to receive either

1. state of the art group MBCT, or

2. supportive group psychotherapy (which is considered part of the standard care available to patients at MGH).


We will conduct a randomized controlled trial of group MBCT (n=30) vs. SP (n=30) and compare the benefits and durability of MBCT vs. SP for decreasing symptoms in DSM-IV bipolar individuals over a 12-week period and 3-month follow-up adjunctive to mood stabilizing medications. Subjects in the MBCT group will receive group therapy sessions of standardized yoga-meditation based exercises enhanced by psychoeducation and relapse prevention for bipolar disorder. Subjects in the SP group will receive support for coping with the symptoms of bipolar disorder, as well as psychoeducation about bipolar disorder. The focus of SP is on reflecting and expressing feelings about current life issues. Patients are supported and comforted when coping with difficult situations, depression, mood swings, or anger. We will assess mood, cognitive and psychosocial functioning before and after treatment for participants in both groups. Finally, we will investigate the functional neuroanatomy associated with memory impairment, attention, and mindful breathing in subjects with bipolar disorder as a predictor of treatment response using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Inclusion criteria: The following conditions must be met for patient eligibility:

1. MINI diagnostic criteria for any bipolar disorder (type I, type II, and NOS)

2. Written informed consent

3. Men or women aged 18-65

4. No severe mood episodes in the past 4 weeks.

5. Able to read and understand English.

Exclusion criteria: Patients meeting any of the following criteria will be excluded from the study:

1. Subjects with suicidal ideation where outpatient treatment is determined unsafe by the study clinician. These patients will be immediately referred to appropriate clinical treatment.

2. History of seizure disorder, brain injury, any history of known neurological disease (multiple sclerosis, degenerative disease such as ALS, Parkinson disease and any movement disorders, etc).

3. History or current diagnosis of the following DSM-IV psychiatric illness: organic mental disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, psychotic disorders not otherwise specified, major depressive disorder, patients with mood congruent or mood incongruent psychotic features, patients with substance dependence disorders, including alcohol, active within the last 12 months.

4. Patients who have untreated hypothyroidism.

5. Patients who have had electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) within the 6 months preceding enrollment.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Single Blind (Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Bipolar Disorder


Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Supportive Psychotherapy


Massachusetts General Hospital
United States




Massachusetts General Hospital

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:05:42-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Contextually focused form of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy that uses MINDFULNESS and behavioral activation to increase patients' psychological flexibility in areas such as ability to engage in values-based, positive behaviors while experiencing difficult thoughts, emotions, or sensations.

A direct form of psychotherapy based on the interpretation of situations (cognitive structure of experiences) that determine how an individual feels and behaves. It is based on the premise that cognition, the process of acquiring knowledge and forming beliefs, is a primary determinant of mood and behavior. The therapy uses behavioral and verbal techniques to identify and correct negative thinking that is at the root of the aberrant behavior.

A psychological state of awareness, the practices that promote this awareness, a mode of processing information and a character trait. As a therapy mindfulness is defined as a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment and as a state and not a trait.

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A form of psychotherapy with emphasis on the interplay of organism and environment. Basic to this therapy is the development of awareness and maturity, as well as self-confidence.

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