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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2011 Apr;199(4):239-43. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e3182125d4c.

Adherence to guidelines by French psychiatrists in their real world of clinical practice.

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Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Clermont-Ferrand, France.


The treatment modalities of bipolar disorder and adherence to international guidelines recommendations in France were investigated. We conducted an observational survey among 210 French psychiatrists concerning their prescribing practice in bipolar disorder, and whether they use guidelines or not. Simple mania is mainly treated with valproate, whereas second-generation antipsychotics are preferred for delusional mania. Lithium is mostly used as second-line treatment by "young psychiatrists." Personal experience appears in the foreground (41% of psychiatrists) in the choice of therapy. Young psychiatrists refer more to guidelines (32% of responders) as compared with other psychiatrists. The main reason for the lack of use of guidelines is because they refer mostly to an Anglo-Saxon medical practice, which is considered different from the French practice. Guidelines for treatment of bipolar disorder are not frequently used. French psychiatrists' age and practice type are the most important variables correlated to the level of use of guidelines.

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