Can you provide an example of how people with mood disorders affected the network?
Roberta Tovey: We have a network survey of what research people think is important to do. The thing that comes out number one is addressing the stigma of mental illness. That was unexpected. Another topic that comes up very high is alternative treatments. We are now working on two research plans testing alternative treatments: yoga and mindfulness.
Andrew Nierenberg: For a study we’ve proposed that will use the network’s data, we asked parents of kids who have bipolar disorder what research design made sense to them for testing therapies. In one design, you give the child one therapy and if the child doesn’t get better on that therapy, you switch to another. In another design, you have a child take both therapies at once. The survey showed that the parents preferred not combining therapies—they were particularly worried about side effects. So we designed our proposed study with the children taking one therapy at a time.
We invite others with mood disorders, or those who support them, to join the network! It has much to offer its members—and we in turn welcome members’ opinions and experiences to shape our future work.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of PCORI.