Bipolar Disorder is characterized by its severe and chronic course, with patients suffering from recurrent depressive, (hypo)manic, and/or mixed episodes, often with psychotic features. Currently, mood disorder medication is the first-line treatment of bipolar disorder. However, it has become evident that pharmacotherapy alone is insufficient, since 60% of patients relapse within two years. Furthermore, some patients do not want to take medication, partly because of unpleasant side effects. Patients require alternative, psychological treatments. Some studies have shown promising results of MBCT for bipolar disorder, including improvements in depressive and anxiety symptoms, and overall functioning.


Is mindfulness a valuable addition to usual care in patients with bipolar disorder? We will measure the effects of mindfulness on depression, levels of anxiety, relapse, and quality of life. We will also examine the cost-effectiveness.


Adults with a bipolar disorder (type I or II).


Participants will be randomly assigned to one of two conditions; condition 1 consists of usual care and condition 2 consists of MBCT (with usual care). On different time points (baseline and after 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 months) participants will be asked to complete some interviews and questionnaires. Participants who are assigned to usual care will be offered MBCT afterwards. In total 160 bipolar patients will be recruited for this study.

The current project looked at clinical and cost effectiveness of both types of MBCT, in comparison to usual care, directly after the training, and 3 and 9 months later.


This study will take place from December 2017 until December 2021. The mindfulness interventions will start in the autumn of 2018 on different locations.

By whom

This study will be executed by Imke Hanssen (psychologist and junior researcher), Marloes Huijbers (psychologist and post-doc researcher), and Anne Speckens (professor in psychiatry). Different external sites will be involved, including Altrecht, Dimence, ProPersona and the Vereniging voor Manisch Depressieven en Betrokkenen.

More information

For questions or more information, feel free to contact Imke Hanssen:
E-mail: Imke.Hanssen@radboudumc.nl
Phone: 024-3614608

Website: www.balans-onderzoek.nl



  • Imke Hanssen
    Imke Hanssen phd student