DOI: 10.1111/eip.13461 ISSN:

Lived experience adaptation of a psychosocial intervention for young adults with bipolar spectrum disorders: Process description and adaptation outcomes

Lisa D. Hawke, Rachel Bennett, Natasha Y. Sheikhan, Philip Yanos
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pshychiatric Mental Health



Lived experience adaptation of mental health interventions can help ensure that the intervention is appropriate for the target population. This paper describes a youth‐led adaptation of a self‐stigma reduction intervention for young adults with bipolar spectrum disorders, that is, Narrative Enhancement and Cognitive Therapy.


Standard guidelines for youth engagement were followed. A youth lived experience adaptation lead and a five‐member youth lived experience advisory panel reviewed the intervention and made a number of adaptations to increase its relevance for young people with bipolar disorders. A brief evaluation of the engagement process was conducted.


The primary adaptations made to the intervention fell into five areas: (1) wording revisions for recovery‐oriented language accessible to youth with a wide variety of language and literacy levels; (2) updating and tailoring to the diagnostic category, with the addition of new quotes describing the lived experience of stigma; (3) integration of a new, engaging graphic design; (4) development of a goal‐setting module, as recommended by the research team; and (5) identification of the role of a peer co‐facilitator. An evaluation of the engagement process showed that the engagement was extremely meaningful for the youth engaged.


Using a youth lived experience adaptation process, young people can make relevant, important changes to a psychosocial intervention. The resulting early intervention materials are research‐ready and are hypothesized to meet the needs of young people with BD in a youth‐friendly manner. Research on the acceptability, efficacy, and effectiveness of the newly adapted intervention will be required.

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