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Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2001 Nov;104(5):387-90.

A lithium clinic for bipolar patients: 2-year outcome of the first 148 patients.

Author information

  • 1Mood Disorders Research Unit, Aarhus University Psychiatric Hospital, Skovagervej 2, DK-8240 Risskov, Denmark.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This paper describes the outcome for the first 148 patients referred to a lithium clinic.

METHOD:

Two-year follow-up data from treatment charts are reported for all patients entering a lithium clinic in the study period.

RESULTS:

Lithium was given as the only mood stabilizer in 132 (89.2%) of the cases. Thirty-two (21.6%) patients were readmitted with a new affective disorder episode. Twenty-nine (19.6%) patients discontinued treatment prematurely. Variables predicting the recurrence of new affective disorder episodes as well as premature discontinuation of treatment were identified.

CONCLUSION:

The majority of bipolar patients received lithium for prophylaxis against recurrent affective disorder episodes. The outcome was moderate but comparable to the 30-40% improvement usually reported in follow-up studies of bipolar patients given long-term prophylactic treatment with lithium. Better long-term treatment results for bipolar patients depend on both the development of more effective mood stabilizing drugs or drug combinations and the improvement of patients' adherence to treatment.

PMID:
11722321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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