Collaborative RESearch Team to study psychosocial issues in by nyut545e2


									       Collaborative RESearch Team to study psychosocial issues
                    in Bipolar Disorder (CREST.BD)
E-newsletter, Edition 5                                                                                    December, 2007

In this issue
     CREST.BD team activities in New Zealand                           CREST.BD collaborative activities
     CREST.BD team member news                                         Keep saving these dates!

CREST.BD team in New Zealand                                                                               With acknowledgement to
                                                                                                           VCHRI who provided a Global
                                                                                                           Collaboration grant to support
Highlights from Christchurch meetings                                                                      the CREST.BD team visit to
QHRs Erin Michalak and Melinda Suto arrived in Christchurch,                                               Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand on November 6th to springtime in the southern
hemisphere: flowers blooming, birds singing, and glorious blue
skies. Carolyn Doughty, National Coordinator of BalanceNZ
( and CREST.BD team member, arranged
several meetings between team members and potential research
collaborators: Julia Rucklidge (University of Canterbury,
Department of Psychology), Lisa Whitehead and Virginia
Maskill (University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine
and Health Sciences). Erin and Melinda also met with Richard
Porter, Consultant Psychiatrist at Te Awakura adult inpatient
unit, who has a particular clinical interest in the treatment of
severe affective disorder. Virginia Maskill discussed her group’s
Psychotherapy for Bipolar Disorder Study protocol with team
members and expressed interest in further discussions.
These meetings provided opportunities to publicise               Sandra, Erin, Melinda and Frank (Balance NZ), Hamilton Botanical Gardens
the work of the CREST.BD team and explore whether
similar interests could lead to collaboration.

Lynere Wilson, the Manager of Bipolar Support Canterbury and peer-support worker Janie accompanied Erin and
Melinda to the Transformation Beyond Words art exhibit in Christchurch. The exhibit aimed to celebrate art
                                     and creativity and work against the exclusion and marginality often experienced
                                     by people with BD. One of the most compelling pieces was a professionally-
                                     produced DVD created by a local Christchurch teenager with BD. Team
                                     members then attended a dinner lecture where Professors Jayashri Kulkarni
                                     (Monash University, Australia) and Sue Luty (University of Christchurch)
                                     presented on Advances in Treatment in Women’s Mental Health Over the
                                     Last Century.

                                         Left: Erin                Right: Melinda
                                         and Sandra                at the art exhibit
                                         in search                 Transformation
                                         of pesky                  Beyond Words
Auckland quality of life presentation and                                Balance NZ 2007 National Training
meeting                                                                  Days conference

On November 13th, Samson Tse toured Sandra Hale, Erin and                   The team then traveled to Hamilton for the annual
Melinda around Auckland before Erin’s presentation on QoL and               Balance NZ conference on November 16th and
functioning with BD, at the School of Population Health,                    17th where they were warmly welcomed and
University of Auckland. There was a lively discussion prompted              introduced to the Maori culture with a powhiri (a
by Erin’s work and Samson invited attendees to a lunchtime                                          ceremony of welcome
research meeting later in                                                                           extended to visitors).
the week. Shane Kanuta,                                                                             Approximately 70 people
Wendy Lai and Ben                                                                                   attended the first day
Peckham from Supporting                                                                             of the conference to hear a
Families with Mental Illness                                                                        range of presentations on
and Samson’s student Grace                                                                          BD, including talks on QoL
Wan (see photo) joined                                                                              (Erin), wellness strategies
team members and discussed                                                                          in BD (Melinda and
ideas about conducting                                                                              Sandra) and employment
research with indigenous and                                                                        issues in BD (Samson).
immigrant populations,                                                                              Presentations on the second
                                   University of Auckland (left to right): Ben Peckham, Pacific
which includes the concept       Families Fieldworker at Supporting Families with Mental Illness;
                                                                                                    day covered suicide
and practice of cultural safety.  Wendy Lai, Asian Family Fieldworker; Grace Wan, Samson’s          prevention and Balance
Although this group’s               master’s student, at the University of Auckland, School of      NZ’s Creating Hope Project
experiences and knowledge are     Population Health; Sandra Hale; Shane Kanuta, Maori Whanau        (Health through Online
                                 Fieldworker; Erin Michalak. Seated: Melinda Suto; Samson Tse,      Peer support and
particular to the New Zealand    CREST.BD team member and Grace’s research supervisor at the
context, many of the lessons                          University of Auckland
                                                                                                    Education) which uses
learned appeared relevant to                                                                        cutting-edge technology to
CREST.BD initiatives.                                                                               create an on-line peer
                                                                                                    support community (see
                                                                                    for further details). The conference was
                                                                                    closed with a panel discussion directed by
                                                          Group meal                conference participants.
                                                         in Auckland:
                                                                                 Kudos to Carolyn Doughty and Frank
                                                         Onyee Tse,
                                                         Erin, Richard           Bristol for producing an excellent training
                                                         and Samson              days conference! News from the
                                                                                 CREST.BD team visit to Australia and
                                                                                 Hawaii will be reported in the January
                                                                                 2008 newsletter.

 CREST.BD team member news

 Monitoring sleep patterns may predict bipolar relapse:
 preliminary research findings – a Swinburne Press Release

 Preliminary findings from a study conducted by Dr Greg Murray, Clinical
 Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at Swinburne University of Technology
 and his colleagues from Beyond Blue and the Centre for Rural Mental Health
 suggest that automated monitoring can provide useful information about mood
 changes for some people with bipolar disorder. Using a wristwatch-styled device
 to monitor their sleep and activity levels may help people with bipolar disorder to
 manage their condition and reduce the incidence of relapse. Participating patients          Sandra and Erin gear up for some
 have been noting their mood and medications daily. They have also been wearing              hard work
 an actigraph, a wristwatch-style device to record activity levels and sleep patterns.
 With further research such a strategy could provide ‘early warning’ of potential relapse, giving the patient and
 their psychologist time to implement techniques to prevent a full relapse, according to Dr Murray. “A number of
 studies have shown that relapse, especially into mania, is preceded by consistent and identifiable milder
 symptoms in the two to four weeks prior to full relapse. Our preliminary findings show a reliable correlation
 between the strength of the patient’s internal body clock and the stability of their mood – the weaker the clock, the
 greater the mood variation,” he said. While this correlation has been long suspected, this study provides the first
 definitive analysis.

 “Our study indicates that monitoring over extended time periods is feasible and may be able to identify signs of
 imminent relapse and trigger early intervention to minimize the disruption and expense of a full-blown relapse,”
 Dr Murray said. A full report on the study is expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

New Special Interest Group                                          CREST.BD collaborative activities
Eric Youngstrom and Sheri Johnson have launched a
Bipolar Disorder Special Interest Group at the Association        Erin and Greg have been working hard on the final
for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). New                stages of developing the QoL.BD, a condition-
members are welcome.                                              specific measure to assess quality of life in BD.

Cultural Safety Symposium                                         The CREST.BD team have rallied around admirably
Rachelle Hole is organizing a symposium on December 7th           in helping them find a further 100 participants with
on Cultural Safety in Kelowna, British Columbia, co-hosted        BD to complete the scale and give them a sufficient
by UBC-O, Okanagan Nation Alliance, and Interior Health           sample size to perform exploratory/confirmatory
(funded by CIHR and Interior Health). See                         factor analysis. They hope to be able to finish the          project by January or February 2008.
for further information.

News from the University of Auckland
Samson Tse’s student Grace Wan plans to conduct a project that parallels the UBC study on wellness and self-
management strategies in people with BD as partial fulfillment for her master’s degree thesis. The new study will use
equivalent qualitative research methods to assess the strategies used by high-functioning individuals residing in the
Auckland area.

Vanessa Cooper’s PhD study on BD and personal experience of stigma or discrimination within the workplace (not
during job-seeking phase) is progressing steadily and she has begun to write-up her dissertation. Samson is
supervising Vanessa’s research and they are keen to publish the findings after the study is completed.

Samson is interested in leading an article (or two articles: part 1 and 2) on BD and paid employment. A plan has been
proposed to other members of the writing team, Melinda and Erin.

                                    CREST.BD: keep saving these dates!
                      The next CREST.BD annual team meeting and concurrent CME event is
                            scheduled for March 14 and 15, 2008 in Vancouver, BC.

                We won’t be publishing another team newsletter in December.
                Expect to see the next edition in January 2008. In the meantime,
                our best wishes for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season!

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