Understanding the role of m-health to improve well-being in spouses of patients with bipolar disorder

Rebecca L. Casarez, Emily Barlow, Sriram M. Iyengar, Jair C. Soares, Thomas D. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Spouses and partners of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) experience significant burden. As there are some limitations to standard psychosocial caregiver interventions, mobile health technology (mHealth) may be a way to reduce burden and improve well-being in these caregivers. The purpose of this study was to explore how the well-being of spouses or partners of patients with BD can be improved through mHealth technology. Methods: Using a qualitative design, we conducted five focus groups and one in-depth individual interview to collect information from participants about what they would expect from such a device. The sample consists of thirteen participants (eleven spouses and two partners). The age range was 29–65, with eight females and five males. Data were collected using minimally structured interviews and independently analyzed by the authors using content analysis. Results: Results indicated that the mHealth device many be helpful in at least six areas: reduction of stressors, decreased social isolation, improving communication in the relationship between the spouses, speaking with children about the illness, managing medications, and providing information on resources. Conclusion: Mobile health technology may be a feasible, available, and cost-effective support tool for spouses and partners of individuals with BD, especially in reducing caregiver stress. Future research is needed to develop the application and test its effectiveness on health outcomes in a larger trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-396
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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