Understanding Bipolar Disorder


Designing Self-Tracking Tools that Better Communicate, Represent, and Understand Bipolar Disorder

Hello and welcome!

What is this study? Recently, there has been a significant increase in personal data tools available for tracking health, productivity, and participation in social networks. The personal data practices enabled by these tools, often referred to as the “Quantified Self” movement, encompass a range of tracking activities associated with self-knowledge, behavior change, and health management. Our research hopes to determine the social and technical requirements necessary to develop a personal informatics system (a smartphone app, for example,) that supports individuals facing bipolar disorder (BD), and allows them to collectively engage with their communities.

Because individuals diagnosed with bipolar disorder often also experience stigma, we hope to better understand stigmatizing attitudes about mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, and how these attitudes affect experiences and shape identities. We’re also interested in how self tracking might mediate those experiences. In order to do this, we’re putting together a series of focus groups where we hope to facilitate productive conversations about bipolar experiences and how we can better communicate, understand and represent them.

Who are you looking for? For our focus groups, we are currently recruiting people who are at least 18 years old, and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We are also looking to recruit close family and friends of individuals with bipolar disorder.

What happens in the focus groups? If you choose to take part in this study, you’ll be assigned to a group of 4-6 individuals. We will schedule a date and time that works for everyone involved. Focus groups will be held on the CU Boulder campus, or at other community meeting locations in and around the Boulder area. We expect the groups to last between 90 and 120 minutes, and we offer compensation of $10 per hour for participation. We’re hoping to recruit a total of 24-42 people for this study.

Any questions or concerns? Please email Tara Walker, Stephen Voida, and Wendy Norris, or the entire research team at bp-study@lists.colorado.edu.

You can also check out one of our affiliated studies at the University of Washington.

For information about us, please click here, or go to the “People” tab above.