Welcome to the BETTER Research Program website!
We are looking for people from around the world who have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and experienced less than 10 mood episodes* to trial online resources designed to help improve quality of life.
Watch the video and read below for more information:
Through joining the program you can:
Interact with other users of the website by commenting on videos getting involved in our Forum. You also have your own personal online coach for 5 weeks during the intervention!
Hear Stories From Others
Real people with real experiences sharing their experiences with you.
Do Interactive Exercises
Do text-based and audio exercises as well as using tools which allow you to monitor your mood and sleep.
Use It Anywhere, Anytime
You can access this website on your computer, laptop or smartphone, so you can use it wherever, whenever and with whoever you want!
If you are:
have bipolar disorder
have experienced <10 mood episodes* in your life
You may be eligible to participate.
See below for more information about what is involved and the criteria for participation.
What is involved?
We are comparing two different types of online resources for people who experience bipolar disorder, both designed to improve quality of life. Both types of resources are designed to be used intensively over a 5 week period and during this period you will have access to a personal online coach. You will receive access to one of these resources for a total of 3 months and which resource you get access to is selected at random.
To see whether the resources have been helpful to you we will ask you to do a number of assessments over the 3 month period which involve a phone call and some online questionnaires which will ask about your mental health and wellbeing. You will be reimbursed with a $25 USD online gift card which can be used world wide for completing these assessments.
Can I participate?
- Are 18-65 years old
- Have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder
- Have experienced less than 10 episodes of depression, hypomania or mania* (see criteria below for more information)
- Are under the care of a medical practitioner who you have seen in the past twelve months, and will continue to see for the total 3 months duration of this study
- Can speak and read English
- Have access to the internet and familiar with use
- Are interested in signing up
What is an episode of depression?
An episode of depression involves symptoms like:
- less interest or pleasure in things you normally enjoy
- low energy
- changes to your sleep, appetite or concentration
To be considered an 'episode' of depression, several of these symptoms need to have been present for most of the day, nearly every day for at least two weeks and you'd feel or behave noticeably different to how you normally would.
What are elevated episodes?
Elevated episodes involve elevated mood (feeling high, elated, or very irritable), including symptoms like:
- having more energy or less need for sleep
- being more talkative or active
- racing thoughts
- making lots of plans or goals
- increased self-esteem
- pleasurable behaviours with negative consequences, like spending a lot of money
To be considered a 'manic episode', several of these symptoms will have occured for at least a week and caused problems in areas like work, relationships, or friendships, or resulted in you being hospitalised.
Hypomania is similar to mania except that the symptoms are usually less severe and affect your functioning less significantly. 'Hypomanic episodes' last four days or more.
Mixed episodes involve these elevated symptoms at the same time as symptoms of depression for at least a week.
These episodes of depression, mania or hypomania may have occured before or after you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Please note, this program is not a substitute for medication, and does not replace your usual medical care. Because this is an international online intervention, we are not able to take on the responsibility for your health care or well-being. There is no emergency assistance available through the website, which is not monitored across all the time zones that participants are coming from. We offer this support program as an added extra to your usual care. You must have sought assistance from a health care provider in the last 12 months to participate in this program. If you have suicidal thoughts, seek immediate assistance from your service provider or emergency department.