Accessibility statement

IBPI: Clinical and cost effectiveness of an online integrated bipolar parenting intervention: A randomised controlled trial

Parents with bipolar disorder (BD) find that the mood changes they experience make parenting challenging. They often report high levels of stress and low parenting confidence, while their children’s emotional and behavioural wellbeing is also impacted. Parents with BD often want parenting support but worry they might lose access to their children if they disclose this. Accessible, flexible, and confidential online parenting support is a way to provide this without adding to worries parents already have. Children of parents with BD often have emotional and behavioural problems, which can lead to mental health problems, including BD, as they grow up. Parents need support to help their children flourish, which may also help parents themselves feel better. 

The IBPI team at Lancaster University created an online intervention to support parents with BD which was acceptable to parents and helped with both child emotional and behaviour problems and parenting. The IBPI trial aims to fully assess whether an updated version of this intervention is effective and represents value for money.

Parents with BD with a child aged 4-10 years old in the UK will be invited to participate through NHS mental health trusts, mental health charities and social media. 342 parents who agree to take part will be either offered the online intervention, or usual care. Whether the parent receives the intervention or not is decided randomly. Parents will fill in questionnaires about their child, their parenting, their mood and their anxiety when they start the study and at 24 and 48 weeks. Around 30 parents will also take part in an interview to find out how helpful they found the IBPI intervention. 

Privacy Notice: How we use your research data


Funders(s): NIHR Health Technology Assessment (NIHR131483)
Start Date: April 2022
End Date: March 2026


YTU Team:

External Members

  • Professor Steve Jones, Chief Investigator (Lancaster University)
  • Lucy Cryle, Trial Manager (Lancaster University)
  • Stephanie Fortier, Research Assistant (Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Julia Halstead, Administrator (Lancaster University)
  • Christopher Lodge, PPI Lead (Lancaster University)
  • Professor Fiona Lobban, Qualitative Lead (Lancaster University)
  • Professor Sarah Byford and Nahel Yaziji, Health Economists (Kings College London)
  • Professor Richard Morriss, Bipolar Diagnosis Lead (University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Cathy Cresswell, Parenting Intervention and Child Evaluation Lead (University of Oxford)
  • Dr Chris Sutton, Statistics Lead, University of Manchester  
  • Dr Jasper Palmier-Claus, Trust Liaison and Implementation Lead (Lancaster University)    
  • Professor Anne Duffy, Expert in Developmental Risk for Bipolar (Queens University, Canada)               


If you would like to talk to someone about your mental health there are many different ways you can access information and support.

  • Mind – provides information, training, and support for people with mental health problems and their families:
  • Rethink Mental Illness – provides information, training and support for people with mental health problems and their families:
  • Bipolar UK – provides information and support for people with bipolar, including support groups and support lines:
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably – provides online information and telephone/online chat support to people experiencing distress:
  • The Hub of Hope – provides details of mental health support services in your area (UK only):
  • Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) - provide a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers to offer confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters: What is PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)? - NHS (

If you need more urgent help and are already in contact with mental health services, please contact them directly. If you are not in contact with mental health services, the following might be helpful:

  • Your usual GP practice
  • Your local out of hours GP or Accident and Emergency. Please visit if you’re unsure where to find these services
  • If you are unsure of what help you need, call 111 for the NHS telephone advice service
  • For someone to talk to over the phone, call Samaritans on 116 123 or email
  • If you feel there is a serious and immediate risk, please call the emergency services on 999

Contact Us

IBPI Trial Team, Lancaster University

York Trials Unit Team

More information on the trial can be found at the following link: