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Outcomes to Monitor When Treating Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D.


The long-term goals of treating both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are to achieve remission, promote functional recovery, prevent relapse, and improve patientsí subjective response. To meet these goals in patients with bipolar disorder, management of the acute episodes of mania, depression, and mixed symptomatology is necessary and may help to maintain favorable patient behavior and avoid hospitalization. In this review, the definitions of remission, recovery, and relapse are compared and contrasted between bipolar disorder and schizophrenia to highlight the similarities and, most notably, the differences in assessments between the two conditions. The implications for the treatment of bipolar disorder stem from the ideology that underlies many of the studies in schizophrenia.

(J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67[8]:e06)


From the Department of Psychiatry, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY