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Optimizing Outcomes in Bipolar Disorder/ Measuring and Maximizing Quality of Life

Dr. Erin Michalak

Bipolar disorder is a common and often disabling mood disorder. Clinical outcome assessments (e.g., symptoms, relapse rates) have historically been the primary focus in bipolar disorder treatment. However, we are seeing a paradigm shift towards the inclusion of broader outcome measures, such as quality of life (QoL). Dr. Erin Michalak and Dr. Greg Murray have developed a feasible, reliable and valid, disorder-specific scale to measure QoL in bipolar disorder: the Quality of Life in Bipolar Disorder Scale (QoL.BD). During this webinar, Dr. Michalak will: 
-Teach the value of measuring QoL in bipolar disorder; 
-Introduce and describe the QoL.BD; 
-Train clinicians and people living with bipolar in the application of the QoL.BD.

Dr. Michalak has a background in psychology, with a BSc from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and a PhD awarded from the University of Wales College of Medicine. Her research interests are in bipolar disorder, seasonal and non-seasonal depression, quality of life, psychosocial functioning and the development of psychosocial assessment scales. She holds a Canadian Institute for Health Research New Investigator Award and Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar Award. Her research has also been supported by the Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, the BC Mental Health and Addictions Network and the Medical Research Council in the UK. Currently, she has studies underway examining maintaining wellness in BD, the clinical efficacy of mood monitoring, and she has developed a disorder-specific scale to assess quality of life in people with BD. Dr. Michalak has approximately 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles published or in press, and has published several books (on assessment scales for mood disorders) and book chapters (on quality of life). She leads the CIHR-funded ‘Collaborative RESearch Team to study psychosocial issues in Bipolar Disorder’ (CREST.BD) Network. See her Youtube video to learn more about her work with CREST.BD: http://youtu.be/rKDojQFlk