Harnessing the potential of community-based participatory research approaches in bipolar disorder Erin E. Michalak1*, Steven Jones2, Fiona Lobban2, Guillermo Perez Algorta2, Steven J. Barnes3, Lesley Berk4,5, Michael Berk6,7, Rachelle Hole8, Sara Lapsley9, Victoria Maxwell10, Roumen Milev11, John McManamy12, Greg Murray13, Mauricio Tohen14, Samson Tse15, Manuel Sanchez de Carmona16, Sheri L. Johnson17, The ISBD Taskforce on Community Engagement CREST.BD

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Harnessing the potential of community-based participatory research approaches in bipolar disorder Erin E. Michalak1*, Steven Jones2, Fiona Lobban2, Guillermo Perez Algorta2, Steven J. Barnes3, Lesley Berk4,5, Michael Berk6,7, Rachelle Hole8, Sara Lapsley9, Victoria Maxwell10, Roumen Milev11, John McManamy12, Greg Murray13, Mauricio Tohen14, Samson Tse15, Manuel Sanchez de Carmona16, Sheri L. Johnson17, The ISBD Taskforce on Community Engagement CREST.BD

Abstract Background: Despite the rapid growth in the sophistication of research on bipolar disorder (BD), the field faces challenges in improving quality of life (QoL) and symptom outcomes, adapting treatments for marginalized commu- nities, and disseminating research insights into real-world practice. Community-based participatory research (CBPR)— research that is conducted as a partnership between researchers and community members—has helped address similar gaps in other health conditions. This paper aims to improve awareness of the potential benefits of CBPR in BD research.

Methods: This paper is a product of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders (ISBD) Taskforce on Community Engagement which includes academic researchers, healthcare providers, people with lived experience of BD, and stakeholders from BD community agencies. Illustrative examples of CBPR in action are provided from two established centres that specialize in community engagement in BD research: the Collaborative RESearch Team to study psycho- social issues in BD (CREST.BD) in Canada, and the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research in the United Kingdom.

Results and discussion: We describe the philosophy of CBPR and then introduce four core research areas the BD community has prioritized for research: new treatment approaches, more comprehensive outcome assessments, tackling stigma, and enhanced understanding of positive outcomes. We then describe ways in which CBPR is ideal for advancing each of these research areas and provide specific examples of ways that CBPR has already been success- fully applied in these areas. We end by noting potential challenges and mitigation strategies in the application of CBPR in BD research.

Conclusions: We believe that CBPR approaches have significant potential value for the BD research community. The observations and concerns of people with BD, their family members, and supports clearly represent a rich source of information. CBPR approaches provide a collaborative, equitable, empowering orientation to research that builds on the diversity of strengths amongst community stakeholders. Despite the potential merits of this approach, CBPR is as yet not widely used in the BD research field, representing a missed opportunity.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder, Community-based participatory research, Research methods, Knowledge translation

© 2016 Michalak et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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*Correspondence: erin.michalak@ubc.ca 1 Mood Disorders Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2A1, Canada Full list of author information is available at the end of the article

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
http://crossmark.crossref.org/dialog/?doi=10.1186/s40345-016-0045-5&domain=pdf
Page 2 of 9Michalak et al. Int J Bipolar Disord (2016) 4:4

Background Research on bipolar disorder (BD) has expanded rapidly in the past decades. Treatment and biological research has become increasingly sophisticated, and many psy- chosocial predictors of the course of the disorder have been documented. Despite progress, the field faces chal- lenges in improving quality of life (QoL) and symptom outcomes, adapting treatments for minority and margin- alized communities, and implementing research gains in community settings.

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The post Harnessing the potential of community-based participatory research approaches in bipolar disorder Erin E. Michalak1*, Steven Jones2, Fiona Lobban2, Guillermo Perez Algorta2, Steven J. Barnes3, Lesley Berk4,5, Michael Berk6,7, Rachelle Hole8, Sara Lapsley9, Victoria Maxwell10, Roumen Milev11, John McManamy12, Greg Murray13, Mauricio Tohen14, Samson Tse15, Manuel Sanchez de Carmona16, Sheri L. Johnson17, The ISBD Taskforce on Community Engagement CREST.BD appeared first on My Nursing Papers.

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