Rita Bauer, Technische Universität Dresden
Jörn Conell, Technische Universität Dresden
Tasha Glenn, ChronoRecord Association
Martin Alda, Dalhousie University
Raffaella Ardau, University Hospital of Cagliari
Bernhard T. Baune, University of Adelaide
Michael Berk, Deakin University
Yuly Bersudsky, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Amy Bilderbeck, University of Oxford
Alberto Bocchetta, University of Cagliari
Letizia Bossini, University of Siena
Angela Marianne Paredes Castro, Deakin University
Eric YW Cheung, Castle Peak Hospital, Hong Kong
Caterina Chillotti, University Hospital of Cagliari
Sabine Choppin, Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri-Mondor
Maria Del Zompo, University of Cagliari
Rodrigo Dias, University of São Paulo
Seetal Dodd, Deakin University
Anne Duffy, University of Calgary
Bruno Etain, Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri-Mondor
Andrea Fagiolini, University of Siena
Miryam Fernández Hernandez, University Hospital of Alava
Julie Garnham, Dalhousie University
John Geddes, University of Oxford
Jonas Gildebro, Aarhus University Hospital
Ana Gonzalez-Pinto, University of the Basque Country
Guy M. Goodwin, University of Oxford
Paul Grof, Mood Disorders Center of Ottawa
Hirohiko Harima, Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital
Stefanie Hassel, Aston University
Chantal Henry, Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri-Mondor
Diego Hidalgo-Mazzei, University of Barcelona
Vaisnvy Kapur, NIMHANS
Girish Kunigiri, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
Beny Lafer, University of São Paulo
Erik R. Larsen, Aarhus University Hospital
Ute Lewitzka, Technische Universität Dresden
Ramus Licht, Aalborg University Hospital
Anne Hvenegaard Lund, Aarhus University Hospital
Blazej Misiak, Wroclaw Medical University
Patryk Piotrowski, Wroclaw Medical University
Scott Monteith, Michigan State University
Rodrigo Munoz, University of California, San Diego
Takako Nakanotani, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
René E. Nielsen, Aalborg University Hospital
Claire O'Donovan, Dalhousie University
Yasushi Okamura, Tokyo Metropolitan Matsuzawa Hospital
Yamima Osher, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Andreas Reif, Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main
Philipp Ritter, Technische Universität Dresden
Janusz Rybakowski, Poznan University of Medical Science
Kemal Sagduyu, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Brett Sawchuk, University of Calgary
Elon Schwartz, Croton on Hudson
Ângela Miranda Scippa, Federal University of Bahia
Claire Slaney, Dalhousie University
Ahmad Hatim Sulaiman, University of Malaya
Kirsi Suominen, City of Helsinki, Department of Social Services and Health Care
Aleksandra Suwalska, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
Peter Tam, University of Hong Kong
Yoshitaka Tatebayashi, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science
Leonardo Tondo, Harvard Medical School
Eduard Vieta, University of Barcelona
Maj Vinberg, Psychiatric Center Copenhagen
Biju Viswanath, NIMHANS
Julia Volkert, University Hospital Frankfurt, Goethe-University
Mark Zetin, Chapman UniversityFollow
Peter C. Whybrow, University of California, Los Angeles
Michael Bauer, Technische Universität Dresden

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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.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, volume 71, issue 1, in 2017, available online at DOI: 10.1080/08039488.2017.1334819. It may differ slightly from the final version of record.


Taylor & Francis



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