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Is a delay in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder inevitable?

journal contribution
posted on 04.05.2018, 00:00 by K Fritz, Alexander RussellAlexander Russell, C Allwang, S Kuiper, L Lampe, GS Malhi
Objective: A diagnosis of bipolar disorder (BD) is often preceded by an initial diagnosis of depression, creating a delay in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of BD. Altho ugh previous research has focused on predictors of a diagnosis change from depression to BD, the research on this delay in diagnosis is sparse. Therefore, the present study examined the time taken to make a BD diagnosis following an initial diagnosis of major depressive disorder in order to further understand the patient characteristics and psychological factors that may explain this delay. Method: A total of 382 patients underwent a clinical evaluation by a psychiatrist and completed a series of questionnaires. Results: Ninety patients were initially diagnosed with depression with a later diagnosis of BD, with a mean delay in diagnostic conversion of 8.74 years. These patients who were later diagnosed with BD were, on average, diagnosed with depression at a younger age, experienced more manic symptoms, and had a more open personality style and better coping skills. Cox regressions showed that depressed patients with diagnoses that eventually converted to BD had been diagnosed with depression earlier and that this was related to a longer delay to conversion and greater likelihood of dysfunctional attitudes. Conclusion: The findings from the present study suggested that an earlier diagnosis of depression is related to experiencing a longer delay in conversion to BD. The clinical implications of this are briefly discussed, with a view to reducing the seemingly inevitable delay in the diagnosis of BD. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

History

Volume

19

Issue

5

Start Page

396

End Page

400

Number of Pages

5

eISSN

1399-5618

ISSN

1398-5647

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, USA

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Acceptance Date

06/04/2017

External Author Affiliations

University of Sydney; Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Germany

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Bipolar Disorders

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