Bipolar Affective Disorder and Older Adults (BADAS) Study

Norm O'Rourke


It is estimated that there are today 75,000 Canadians 50+ years of age with bipolar disorder (BD); moreover, the number of older Canadians with BD will triple over the next 10 years. Despite these growing numbers, psychosocial research specific to older adults with BD is virtually nonexistent. For our Bipolar Affective Disorder and older Adults (BADAS) Study, we will be undertaking Ecological Momentary Sampling (EMS) of mood-in-the-moment, medication adherence, sleep quality, and daily hassles/uplifts over 12-months. These mood 'snapshots' will be GPS and time stamped allowing us to determine if periods of mania are heralded by expanding geographic range, rapid movement between points or, novelty seeking; conversely, contraction of movements are assumed to be a precursor of depression episodes. Half of these participants will be randomly assigned to a self-care conditioned in which their EMS information is synthesized and compiled in person-specific websites intended to foster awareness of factors that precede and sustain mood episodes. This study will provide a wealth of information to increase our understanding of BD in older adults where little information currently exists.