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


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.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Clinical and Systems Neuroscience
College of Health & Life Sciences
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Nordic Journal of Psychiatry on 11 July 2017 available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: bipolar disorder,Internet,online support groups,self-help,survey,Psychiatry and Mental health
Publication ISSN: 1502-4725
Last Modified: 06 May 2024 07:20
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2017 08:20
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-07-11
Accepted Date: 2017-05-21
Authors: Bauer, Rita
Conell, Jörn
Glenn, Tasha
Alda, Martin
Ardau, Raffaella
Baune, Bernhard T.
Berk, Michael
Bersudsky, Yuly
Bilderbeck, Amy
Bocchetta, Alberto
Bossini, Letizia
Paredes Castro, Angela M.
Cheung, Eric Y.W.
Chillotti, Caterina
Choppin, Sabine
Zompo, Maria Del
Dias, Rodrigo
Dodd, Seetal
Duffy, Anne
Etain, Bruno
Fagiolini, Andrea
Fernández Hernandez, Miryam
Garnham, Julie
Geddes, John
Gildebro, Jonas
Gonzalez-Pinto, Ana
Goodwin, Guy M.
Grof, Paul
Harima, Hirohiko
Hassel, Stefanie (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-7240-1581)
Henry, Chantal
Hidalgo-Mazzei, Diego
Kapur, Vaisnvy
Kunigiri, Girish
Lafer, Beny
Larsen, Erik R.
Lewitzka, Ute
Licht, Rasmus W.
Hvenegaard Lund, Anne
Misiak, Blazej
Piotrowski, Patryk
Monteith, Scott
Munoz, Rodrigo
Nakanotani, Takako
Nielsen, René E.
O’Donovan, Claire
Okamura, Yasushi
Osher, Yamima
Reif, Andreas
Ritter, Philipp
Rybakowski, Janusz K.
Sagduyu, Kemal
Sawchuk, Brett
Schwartz, Elon
Scippa, Ângela M.
Slaney, Claire
Sulaiman, Ahmad H.
Suominen, Kirsi
Suwalska, Aleksandra
Tam, Peter
Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka
Tondo, Leonardo
Vieta, Eduard
Vinberg, Maj
Viswanath, Biju
Volkert, Julia
Zetin, Mark
Whybrow, Peter C.
Bauer, Michael



Version: Accepted Version

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