Demographic and Clinical Characteristics of Individuals in a Bipolar Disorder Case Registry. [CME]
J Clin Psychiatry 2002;63(2):120-125
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: The goal of this analysis was to
characterize a cohort of 3000 persons who self-identified as
having bipolar disorder by demographic, clinical, and treatment
characteristics and to document the burden that this disorder
imposed on their lives.
Method: The Stanley Center Bipolar Disorder
Registry used a variety of recruitment methods to reach people
with bipolar disorder. The cohort included those currently in
treatment and those active in support groups. Registrants
completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire to obtain
information on demographic characteristics, clinical history, and
Results: The median age of the 2839 patients who
were analyzed was 40.1 years, 64.5% were women, and over 90% were
white. The median age at onset was 17.5 years, and the mean
was19.8 years. Despite the fact that over 60% completed at least
some college and 30% completed college, 64% were currently
unemployed. The patients' family histories point to a high
prevalence of mental disorder in the families, especially mood
disorders. Patients were concurrently taking multiple
medications, and more than one third were taking at least 3 types
of psychotropic medications. This pattern of pharmacotherapy was
consistent with participants' overall mood ratings, which
demonstrated how unusual it was for them to be symptom-free over
a 6-month period.
Conclusion: Our present findings point to the
chronicity and severity of bipolar disorder as experienced in the
community. We still need to develop better interventions, ensure
access to care consistent with current consensus guidelines, and
initiate care as early as possible in the course of the