Research into bipolar disorder (BD) has primarily focused upon clinical recovery (CR), i.e. symptom reduction, and overlooked personally meaningful recovery outcomes emphasized by service users. Personal recovery (PR) has been a major focus in the formulation of mental health policies and guidelines, and yet, research into factors influencing PR in BD is in its infancy.
This study compared psychological associates of concurrent PR and CR, and determined psychological factors in PR prospectively at 6 months.
107 participants completed baseline assessments, of whom 84% completed follow-up at 6 months. Controlling for potential confounders, multiple linear and ordinal regression models showed that some psychological factors underpinned both CR and PR at baseline: worse PR and CR outcomes were associated with higher negative self-dispositional appraisals and dysfunctional attitudes. Better PR, but worse CR ([hypo]mania related) were associated with higher adaptive coping. Additionally, better PR (but not CR) was associated with higher concurrent risk taking at baseline and predicted at follow-up by higher levels of baseline rumination. Better CR ([hypo]mania related), but not PR, was associated with lower impulsivity, but higher BAS processes.
Psychological and clinical factors were not measured at follow up and may have changed over time. Participants were a convenience sample.
Understanding psychological factors driving recovery in BD is essential for refining the conceptual framework of PR, and informing psychological models and related interventions for BD. The identified differences in psychological factors highlight the importance of more individualised, PR focused therapeutic approaches.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.