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Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease:
Original Articles

A Qualitative Approach to Identifying Psychosocial Issues Faced by Bipolar Patients

Lim, Louella DPsych (Clinical)*; Nathan, Paula MPsych (Clinical)*†; O'Brien-Malone, Angela PhD‡; Williams, Sandy MAppPsych (Clinical)‡

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Abstract

Many studies have examined factors influencing or associated with the outcome of bipolar disorder. However, little is known about bipolar patients’ subjective experiences of their illness and the issues that are of significance to them. The use of a client-focused approach in identifying these issues is important for planning treatment and clinical medical management to address patients’ specific needs. Focus group discussions and individual interviews were conducted with 18 bipolar patients and transcribed verbatim. The data were then analyzed and interpreted according to the phenomenological approach to qualitative research. The data were interpreted in terms of how patients view themselves, their lives and community, and their future. Implications for treatment and future research are discussed.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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