Study results showed that adolescents receiving combinational pharmacotherapy and FFT were more likely to have less-severe manic symptoms after two years than those receiving pharmacotherapy with brief psychoeducation. The researchers found no significant difference in recovery time and recurrence of episodes among the two treatment groups.
“The emphasis in FFT on early recognition of prodromal signs of recurrence and communication and problem-solving skills may not translate into benefits for patients until families have implemented these strategies during new cycles of illness,” David Miklowitz, Ph.D, director of the Children and Adolescent Mood Disorders Program at UCLA, told Psychiatric News. Miklowitz concluded that intensive family interventions may be most useful when high family stress and the long-term course of hypomanic or manic symptoms are primary treatment targets.
To read more about bipolar disorder in adolescents, see the Psychiatric News article, “Targeting Specific Factors Might Improve Bipolar Disorder Outcomes." For comprehensive information about treating adolescents with bipolar disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, see Clinical Manual of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Second Edition from American Psychiatric Publishing.