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Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2008 Dec;22(6):344-55. doi: 10.1016/j.apnu.2007.08.006. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Assessment and diagnostic issues in pediatric bipolar disorder.

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The purpose of this article is to provide clinicians with detailed information on pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) in children and adolescents to aid in the accurate assessment and diagnosis of the disorder. PBD is a complex condition that presents with a wide array of features, making it a difficult disorder to diagnose and treat. The debilitating nature of PBD makes it necessary for clinicians to address the disorder as early as possible to help ensure positive outcomes. The assessment and diagnostic process is an integral step toward determining appropriate treatment interventions. This article presents an overview of the assessment and diagnostic process, including diagnostic criteria, epidemiology, comorbidities, differential diagnoses, and risk factors. The distinctive childhood features of PBD and the diagnostic controversies are also addressed.

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