A qualitative exploration of patient and family views and experiences of treatment decision-making in bipolar II disorder

Alana Fisher*, Vijaya Manicavasagar, Louise Sharpe, Rebekah Laidsaar-Powell, Ilona Juraskova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Treatment decision-making in bipolar II disorder (BPII) is challenging, yet the decision support needs of patients and family remain unknown.

Aim: To explore patient and family perspectives of treatment decision-making in BPII.

Method: Semistructured, qualitative interviews were conducted with 28 patients with BPII-diagnosis and 13 family members with experience in treatment decision-making in the outpatient setting. Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using framework methods. Participant demographics, clinical characteristics and preferences for patient decision-making involvement were assessed.

Results: Four inter-related themes emerged: (1) Attitudes and response to diagnosis and treatment; (2) Influences on decision-making; (3) The nature and flow of decision-making; (4) Decision support and challenges. Views differed according to patient involvement preferences, time since diagnosis and patients’ current mood symptoms.

Conclusions: This is the first known study to provide in-depth patient and family insights into the key factors influencing BPII treatment decision-making, and potential improvements and challenges to this process. Findings will inform the development of BPII treatment decision-making resources that better meet the informational and decision-support priorities of end users.

Declaration of interest: This research was partly funded by a Postgraduate Research Grant awarded to the first author by the University of Sydney. No conflicts of interest declared.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-79
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • bipolar II disorder
  • treatment decision-making
  • patient involvement
  • qualitative
  • barriers
  • facilitators


Dive into the research topics of 'A qualitative exploration of patient and family views and experiences of treatment decision-making in bipolar II disorder'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this