From the Journals

Increased awareness needed of bipolar disorder in primary care



A significant number of patients with in primary care also have unrecognized bipolar disorder, according to researchers at the University of Manchester (England).

In a systematic review and meta-analysis published in General Hospital Psychiatry, the researchers searched Medline, Embase, Cochrane, and PsycINFO for that measured the rate of unrecognized bipolar disorder in primary care. A total of 10 studies involving 3,803 patients were included in the final analysis.

The overall prevalence of unrecognized bipolar disorder within the patient group was 17%; however, that rate varied significantly. Depending on the study, the range was 5%-28%. A subgroup analysis showed that studies that relied on clinical interviews for patients with confirmed bipolar disorder had lower rates than studies that relied on self-reporting. However, that difference did not reach statistical significance (14% vs. 22%; P = .121).

“There is ... an imperative need to improve the recognition of bipolar disorder in patients in primary care. A lack of effective training of primary care physicians, competing clinical demands, and reduced financial incentives ... are key reasons for the unrecognition of mental health conditions in primary care,” the investigators noted.

No conflicts of interest were reported.

SOURCE: Daveney J et al. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 27. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2019.03.006.

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