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Measuring Patient Outcomes and Making the Transition From Acute to Maintenance Treatment for Bipolar Depression

Article Abstract

Patients with bipolar disorder require diligent management involving psychoeducation, a strong therapeutic alliance, and ongoing monitoring with rating scales to achieve the best outcomes. Clinicians should monitor symptom response, functioning, and quality of life to determine if treatment needs to be be adjusted. Assessing adverse effects must be done regularly to improve treatment adherence. Because effective acute phase treatments are often continued in maintenance treatment, clinicians must find the right balance of efficacy and tolerability for long-term success. The FDA has approved 7 agents for maintenance treatment of bipolar disorder. Because of the high risk of recurrent depressive episodes, clinicians should be aware of which agents are more effective for reducing manic or depressive relapses.

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