To better understand the types and quantity of mental health services and medication usage for youth diagnosed with bipolar disorder (BD) within an integrated healthcare system, medical records were reviewed from 2000 to 2011. Eighty-five youth diagnosed with BD were identified and healthcare services (medication and psychotherapy follow-up appointments, emergency room (ER) visits, admissions, phone contacts) and visit-related details (medication usage) were abstracted for 2 years after initial BD diagnosis. Despite complex medication regimens (91.7 and 81.2 % received mood stabilizers and antipsychotic agents, respectively), medication appointments were infrequent, averaging 1 visit every 2 months. Only 36 (42 %) of 85 youth were noted to receive psychotherapy services following BD diagnosis, also averaging 1 visit every 2 months. Most (58.8 %) patients needed one or more hospitalizations during the follow-up period; nearly half (48.2 %) had psychiatric ER visits. The relative lack of psychotherapy and infrequent follow-up visits suggests need for improvement to optimize healthcare delivery.
- Pediatric bipolar disorder
- Quality of care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology