About our Project

‌   The FAB study needs young people (under 18) with Bipolar Disorder.

The aim of this research study is to examine the feasibility of a future randomised controlled trial (RCT) of Family Focused Treatment UK (FFT-A UK version) in the management of adolescent Bipolar Disorder (BD). The FFT-A (Miklowitz et al. 2004) was first developed in the USA to treat young people with BD and their families.

The study will investigate the acceptability of the FFT-A UK version; explore issues of randomisation, recruitment and retention rates and variability in the proposed outcome measures to inform the design of an adequately powered multicentre RCT with long term follow up.

33 families (to allow for a 10% attrition rate) in the North East living with a young person with BD will be recruited to take part in the study. Families, following fully informed consent/assent will complete baseline questionnaires. Families will then be randomised to intervention group or delayed treatment group. Those families in the delayed treatment group will receive the treatment after one year.

The therapy consists of 3 modules, psycho-education, communication enhancement and problem solving skills training. The intervention will consist of 16 hour long sessions (7 weekly, 9 fortnightly) over approx. 6 months. Questionnaires will be repeated after 6 and 12 months. Young people will be compensated 3X£10 for completion of the questionnaires.

Inclusion criteria

  • Confirmation of diagnosis of BD and currently in remission using the WASH U KSADS (Geller, Williams and al 1996).
  • Fluent in the English language
  • Typically developing with ability in the average range and able to engage in psychotherapy
  • Age between 11-18 years

 Exclusion criteria

  • Not meeting criteria for a diagnosis of BD according to the WASH-U-KSADS
  • Currently in an episode of bipolar disorder (e.g. mania/hypomania/depression/mixed episode.
  •  Lack of fluency in the English language that might prevent engagement in psychotherapy
  • Low intellectual functioning that might not allow young people to engage in the FFT-A UK version