Running head: LITERATURE REVIEW
Family Focused Therapy for Bipolar I/II Patients Literature Review
Antioch University of Santa Barbara
High levels of expressed emotion (EE), critical attitudes, and emotional over-involvement are associated with an increased likelihood of relapse among bipolar patients. However, the root of these attitudes is unclear. Therefore, many studies have extensively focused on the efforts of family focused therapy (FFT) as an active form of therapy in conjunction to pharmacotherapy for better control, or modification, of symptom severity. Most research has hypothesized that an earlier onset of the mood disorder, as well as a current symptom severity, correlates to increased levels of EE from the caregivers or parents. This paper analyzes core findings from research regarding the impact of FFT as an active therapy form, and further proceeds to offer further room for study and investigation.
The primary purpose of this paper is to both review and synthesize established literature regarding the efficacy of Family Focused Therapy (FFT) as a treatment approach for Bipolar I and II disorder. After reviewing the findings of six existing FFT literature, I will go on to make a proposal for further research necessary regarding FFT for Bipolar patients. All studies reviewed were randomized trials that maintained usual treatment of pharmacotherapy in combination with FFT, in order to compare FFT to other forms of active treatment used for Bipolar I/II patients.
Investigations and research regarding FFT for Bipolar patients is important because high expressed emotion (EE) attitudes among parents or caregivers have demonstrated an association of an increased likelihood of relapse among bipolar patients. Thus, if a group of close individuals to a bipolar patient can control for the family environment and more specifically emotions, attitudes, and interactions in their household then perhaps they can also modify and control the relapse rate after an acute episode. Families play a central role in providing long-term care and support to patients with psychotic symptomatology. When a family member is diagnosed with a mental illness as troubling as bipolar I/II disorder, the whole family has to cope with the resulting series of changes in family interactions and duties. Therefore, understanding the significance, and role of impact, that a family dynamic plays in the stability and consistency for a bipolar patient is essential to mitigate some of the troubling and severe psychopathology shifts.
In the Covile, et al. article, Correlates of High Expressed Emotion Attitudes Among Parents of Bipolar Adolescents, researchers highlight that the earlier the onset of Bipolar Disorder for a patient, as well as the longer the durations of illness, then the higher the levels of corresponding parental expressed emotion (EE) (critical components). Specifically, researchers hypothesized t...