[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A substantial proportion of individuals with mood disorders present with sub-syndromal hypo/manic features. The objective of this analysis was to evaluate the prevalence and illness characteristics of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version-5 (DSM-5) – defined mixed features specifier (MFS) in adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD).Method
Data from participants who met criteria for a current mood episode as part of MDD (n=506) or BD (BD-I: n=216, BD-II: n=130) were included in this post-hoc analysis. All participants were enrolled in the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (IMDCP): a collaborative research platform at the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit, University of Toronto and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio. Mixed features specifier was operationalized as a score≥1 on 3 or more select items on the Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) or≥1 on 3 select items of the Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) or Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-17) during an index major depressive episode (MDE) or hypo/manic episode, respectively.ResultsA total of 26.0% (n=149), 34.0% (n=65), and 33.8% (n=49) of individuals met criteria for MFS during an index MDE as part of MDD, BD-I and BD-II, respectively. Mixed features specifier during a hypo/manic episode was identified in 20.4% (n=52) and 5.1% (n=8) in BD-I and BD-II participants, respectively. Individuals with MDE–MFS as part of BD or MDD exhibited a more severe depressive phenotype (p=0.0002 and p<0.0002, respectively) and reported a higher rate of alcohol/substance use disorder in the context of BD but not MDD (p=0.002). Individuals with MFS were more likely to have co-existing heart disease suggestive of a distinct pattern of comorbidity and neurobiology.LimitationsData were post-hoc and obtained from individuals utilizing a university-based mood disorder centre which may affect generalizability.Conclusions
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Version-5-defined MFS is common during an MDE as part of MDD and BD. The presence of MFS identifies a subgroup of individuals with greater illness complexity and possibly a higher rate of cardiovascular comorbidity. The results herein underscore the common occurrence of MFS in adults with either BD or MDD. Moreover, the results of our analysis indicate that adults with mood disorders and MFS have distinct clinical characteristics and comorbidity patterns.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Functional impairment associated with mood disorders may be related to a characteristic "profile" of normative personality dimensions.
Individuals (age ≥ 18 years) with MDD (n = 400) or BD (n = 317), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision (DSM-IV-TR), were enrolled in the IMDCP. Personality was evaluated with the Neuroticism-Extraversion-Openness Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI), and functionality with the Sheehan Disability Scale and Endicott Work Productivity Scale. Path analysis using linear multiple regressions was performed to identify direct and indirect effects of personality on functional impairment.
Lower conscientiousness exerted a significant direct effect on global (p = 0.017) and family life dysfunction in individuals with MDD (p = 0.002), as well as lower work productivity in both MDD (p = 0.020) and BD (p = 0.018). Lower extraversion exerted a significant direct effect on social impairment in individuals with BD (p = 0.017). Higher neuroticism and agreeableness as well as lower extraversion exerted indirect effects on global and social dysfunction in individuals with MDD via their effects on depression severity. In BD, higher neuroticism and openness indirectly affected global dysfunction. Family dysfunction was indirectly affected by higher neuroticism and openness as well as lower extraversion in MDD and BD.
The results suggest that discrete personality dimensions may exert direct and indirect effects on functional outcomes in individuals with mood disorders. Personalizing disease management approaches in mood disorders with emphasis on vocational rehabilitation may benefit from measurement and intervention targeting personality.
Advances in Therapy 07/2013; DOI:10.1007/s12325-013-0042-3 · 2.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aimed to determine the distributions of the age at onset (AAO) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) using admixture analysis and to determine the clinical differences between subgroups with different AAO.
Participants were administered the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview to obtain clinical data. Admixture analysis was performed using the STATA module DENORMIX to identify subgroups characterized by differences in AAO.
The best fit model was the three-component model with the following means, standard deviations and proportions: 14.60 (3.75) years (49.1%), 29.15 (6.75) years (34.1%) and 46.96 (6.06) years (16.8%) (χ(2)=3.64, 2 df, P=.162). The three subgroups were divided by AAO of 22 and 40. After controlling for duration of illness, there were no significant differences between the three AAO subgroups in terms of gender and psychiatric family history. However, the early-onset subgroup was significantly more likely to report being single compared to the intermediate- and late-onset groups. The proportion of individuals meeting criteria for lifetime comorbid panic disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder did not differ significantly between the AAO groups. However, the early-onset group reported a higher incidence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (5.1% vs. 1.7% and 1.2%, P=.086), although this was not statistically significant.
Our study identified three characteristically different AAO subgroups in individuals suffering from MDD. The subgroups may reflect different underlying neurobiological mechanisms involved.
General hospital psychiatry 08/2012; 34(6):686-91. DOI:10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.06.010 · 2.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Past neuroimaging work has suggested that increased activation to cognitive and emotional tasks and decreased connectivity in frontal regions are related to cognitive inefficiency in depression; normalization of these relationships has been associated with successful treatment. The present study investigated brain function before and after electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) and demonstrated the effect of treatment on cortical activation patterns. METHODS: Six ECT-naive patients with depression (mean ± SD age, 39.0 ± 5.4 years) were treated with ECT. Within 1 week before and 1 to 3 weeks after ECT, the patients underwent a magnetic resonance imaging session with functional magnetic resonance image scanning during working memory and affective tasks and during rest. Changes in voxelwise statistical maps of brain response to each task in regions identified to be relevant from past studies of depression were compared with changes in depression severity as measured by the Hamilton Depression Rating Score. Changes in functional connectivity between brain regions were also compared with changes in depression severity. RESULTS: Activation during both tasks was generally found to be decreased after ECT. Remission of depression was significantly associated with reduced affective deactivation after ECT in the orbitofrontal cortex (P = 0.03). Whole-brain functional connectivity of the anterior cingulate cortex showed a consistent increase in connectivity to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex after ECT. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that successful ECT for MDD is associated with decreased activation to cognitive and emotional tasks and an increase in resting connectivity.
The journal of ECT 07/2012; 28(4). DOI:10.1097/YCT.0b013e31825ebcc7 · 1.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to determine whether a reported history of childhood adversity is associated with components of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP-III)-defined metabolic syndrome in adults with mood disorders.
This was a cross-sectional analysis of adult outpatients (N = 373; n = 230 female, n = 143 male; mean age [SD] = 42.86 [14.43]) from the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (University of Toronto and Cleveland Clinic) with DSM-IV-defined major depressive disorder and bipolar I/II disorder. Childhood adversity was measured with the Klein Trauma & Abuse-Neglect self-report scale. The groups with and without childhood adversity were compared to determine possible differences in the rates of metabolic syndrome and its components. Logistic and linear regressions adjusted for age, sex, education, employment status, and smoking were used to evaluate the association between childhood adversity and components of metabolic syndrome.
For the full sample, 83 subjects (22.25%) met criteria for metabolic syndrome. Individuals reporting a history of any childhood adversity had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure (systolic: p = 0.040; diastolic: p = 0.038). Among subjects with a history of sexual abuse, a significant proportion met criteria for obesity (45.28% vs. 32.88%; p = 0.010); a trend toward overweight was found for subjects with a history of physical abuse (76.32% vs. 63.33%; p = 0.074), although this relationship did not remain significant after adjusting for potential confounders. There was no statistically significant difference in the overall rate of dyslipidemia and/or metabolic syndrome between subjects with and without childhood adversity.
The results herein provide preliminary evidence suggesting that childhood adversity is associated with metabolic syndrome components in individuals with mood disorders.
The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 01/2012; 43(2):165-77. DOI:10.2190/PM.43.2.e · 0.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the safety and efficacy of olanzapine monotherapy in treatment-resistant bipolar mania.
Subjects (n = 18) who were acutely manic, did not respond to lithium, anticonvulsants, and neuroleptics, and/or had intolerable side effects to them in previous manic episodes were openly treated with olanzapine monotherapy (5-40 mg/d) for 12 weeks. The primary and secondary outcomes included the change from baseline to endpoint in Young Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) total score, Clinical Global Impression for Bipolar Disorder-Severity Scale (CGI-S), 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and response and remission rate.
The mean change in YMRS total score from baseline to endpoint was -23.3 ± 8.4 (p < 0.001). Fifteen (88.5%) patients achieved response (≥50% reduction in YMRS total score) and 14 (77.8%) achieved remission (YMRS total score ≤9 at endpoint). Mean changes from baseline to endpoint in CGI-S for mania and PANSS total score were significant, but not the changes in HAM-D total score or CGI-S for depression. The most common adverse events were sedation, self-reported weight gain, ≥7% increase in body weight, dizziness, and akathisia.
These preliminary results suggest that olanzapine monotherapy is effective and relatively safe in patients with treatment-resistant bipolar mania. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is warranted.
Human Psychopharmacology Clinical and Experimental 12/2011; 26(8):588-95. DOI:10.1002/hup.1249 · 1.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate drug use, prescribing patterns, and comorbidities among patients with migraine in a large pharmacy claims database.
104,625 migraine subjects (identified according to the criteria in the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision [ICD-9] for migraine or migraine-specific acute medication use) and an equal number of control patients were selected from a de-identified claims database; the prevalence of patients with migraine-specific claims was determined. Patient demographics, migraine-related medication use, other psychotropic medication use, and comorbidities over a 12-month period were compared between the migraine population and the control group and between migraine subgroups.
Of the study population, 3.5% had a migraine diagnosis according to the ICD-9 or received a migraine-specific acute medication. Compared with controls, migraine patients had significantly greater disease comorbidity and higher use of prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and controlled painkillers; they were also more likely to receive medications used to prevent migraines and other nonmigraine psychotropic medications, such as anxiolytics and hypnotics. Among migraine patients, 66% received acute migraine-specific medication while only 20% received US Food and Drug Administration-approved migraine preventive therapy. Notably, one-third of high triptan users did not receive any kind of preventive medication. Multiple medical and psychiatric comorbidities were observed at higher rates among migraine sufferers. In addition to significantly higher utilization of antidepressants compared with controls, migraine patients also received significantly more other psychotropic drugs by a factor of 2:1.
Acute migraine medications are commonly used and frequently dispensed at rates that raise concern of overuse; high use is often seen without any preventive medications. Furthermore, use of US Food and Drug Administration-approved preventive medications is low. Finally, patients with migraine are significantly more likely to receive other psychotropic medications. These findings suggest efforts to optimize the management of migraines could address appropriate use of triptans, increased and more effective use of migraine preventive medications, and better understanding of the use of other psychotropics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To conduct an exploratory evaluation of the acute efficacy of extended-release divalproex sodium compared to placebo in patients with bipolar I or II depression.
Outpatients aged 18-70 years with mood stabilizer-naive bipolar I or II disorder experiencing a major depressive episode (DSM-IV) were randomly assigned to 6 weeks of divalproex sodium monotherapy or placebo. The primary outcome measure was mean change from baseline to week 6 on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score. Secondary outcomes included rates of response and remission, changes in the Clinical Global Impressions-Bipolar (CGI-BP) Severity of Illness scores, and changes in anxiety symptoms as measured by the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. The study was conducted between 2003 and 2007.
Fifty-four subjects with bipolar I (n = 20) or bipolar II (n = 34) disorder were randomly assigned to divalproex or placebo; 67% (36 of 54) met DSM-IV criteria for rapid cycling. Divalproex treatment produced statistically significant improvement in MADRS scores compared with placebo from week 3 onward. The proportions of patients meeting response criteria were 38.5% (10 of 26) in the divalproex group versus 10.7% (3 of 28) for the placebo group (P = .017). The proportions of patients meeting remission criteria were 23.1% (6 of 26) for divalproex versus 10.7% (3 of 28) for placebo (P = .208). Subgroup analysis revealed no separation between divalproex and placebo for those with bipolar II diagnoses. Nausea, increased appetite, diarrhea, dry mouth, and cramps were the most common side effects.
These data suggest that divalproex sodium is efficacious and reasonably well tolerated in the acute treatment of mood stabilizer-naive patients with bipolar depression, particularly for those with rapid-cycling type I presentations, and that confirmatory large-scale studies are indicated.
The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 06/2011; 72(6):813-9. DOI:10.4088/JCP.09m05570gre · 5.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-adherence to antidepressant medications is a contributing factor to disease relapse and may result in needless increases in antidepressant dosing.
We analyzed de-identified patient claims data from Medco Health Solutions, Inc.'s information database and measured adherence as the medication possession ratio (MPR), with adequate adherence as MPR ≥80%. Adherence was calculated for patients in whom antidepressants were dose escalated and who were on the same antidepressant medication for at least 180 days before the upward dosage titration. Statistical analysis was performed on subgroups comparing adherence with mail vs. retail channels, differences in age and gender, generic prescription vs. brand only, and prescription by psychiatrist vs. non-psychiatrist.
29.7% of patients were non-adherent to their antidepressant medication during the 6 months prior to a prescribed increase in dosage. Non-adherence was significantly lower among patients using the Medco Therapeutic Resource Centers® mail order vs. retail channel. Younger age correlated with poorer adherence. Rates of non-adherence were also significantly greater among women, those receiving generic medications, and among patients with overall lower disease comorbidity. Adherence was not significantly impacted by prescription from a psychiatrist or a non-psychiatrist.
Retrospective design and use of an administrative patient claims database.
Suboptimal medication adherence commonly precedes an upward dosage titration of antidepressant medications. Utilization of a mail order channel may improve adherence. Clinicians prescribing antidepressants should explore adherence issues carefully prior to recommending an increase in dosage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To screen patients with fibromyalgia for bipolar disorder and to determine if there were any clinical clues, other than the Mood Disorders Questionnaire (MDQ), which might suggest a diagnosis of comorbid bipolar disorder.
A total of 128 consecutive new fibromyalgia patients referred to a tertiary care center rheumatology practice were enrolled and assessed using a standard clinical protocol that included the completion of four screening questionnaires: (i) MDQ for bipolar disorder, (ii) Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) for depression, (iii) Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) for daytime sleepiness, and (iv) Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire Disability Index (FIQ-DI) to assess for functional capacity.
A quarter of the fibromyalgia subjects, 25.19%, had a positive screen for bipolar disorder (MDQ >or= 7); 78.12% were clinically depressed (BDI >or= 10); and 52.13% reported daytime sleepiness (ESS >or= 10). Fibromyalgia subjects who screened positive for bipolar disorder had more severe depression than those with a negative screen [median BDI: 26.0 (19.0, 32.0) versus 15.0 (9.0, 24.0), p < 0.001].
We report a high prevalence of positive testing for bipolar disorder in this fibromyalgia cohort. Clinical data and questionnaire instruments other than nonspecific high depression severity failed to identify these patients. Since the norepinephrine serotonin reuptake inhibitors duloxetine and milnacipran have been recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of fibromyalgia, and because patients with bipolar disorder may experience destabilization of mood when treated with such agents, patients with fibromyalgia should be systematically screened for bipolar disorder prior to treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment nonadherence is a leading cause of poor outcomes among populations with bipolar disorder (BD) and is related to subjective experience of illness and treatment. This study examined gender differences in the experience of illness and treatment for those with BD, specifically in regards to treatment adherence. This cross-sectional analysis pooled data from 3 BD studies. A semistructured qualitative instrument, the Subjective Experience of Medication Interview, elicited information on subjective differences in treatment adherence between men and women. Men and women experience comparable levels of stigma and they comparably value lessened irritability and/or impulsivity because of medications. However, men and women differed in fear of weight gain because of medications, value of social support, and self-medication behaviors. Selected differences in subjective illness experience between men and women might be used to inform gender-sensitive approaches to enhance treatment adherence among populations with BD.
The Journal of nervous and mental disease 05/2010; 198(5):370-2. DOI:10.1097/NMD.0b013e3181da8ef7 · 1.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Relatively few studies have evaluated the clinical implications of lifetime attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults with bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder (MDD). Herein, we sought to determine the prevalence as well as the demographic and clinical correlates of lifetime ADHD in persons with a mood disorder.
The first 399 patients enrolled in the International Mood Disorders Collaborative Project (IMDCP) were evaluated for lifetime ADHD using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview-Plus (MINI-Plus) as the primary instrument to derive current and lifetime DSM-IV diagnoses. All analyses of variables of interest were conducted utilizing the MINI-Plus, the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale-v1.1, and the Wender Utah Rating Scale-Short Form. The effect of ADHD on clinical presentation, course of illness variables, comorbidity, anamnesis, treatment, and outcome are reported. The IMDCP is a joint initiative of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Mood Disorders Treatment and Research at Lutheran Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio. All data for this study were procured between January 2008 and January 2009.
The percentages of subjects with MDD or bipolar disorder meeting the DSM-IV criteria for lifetime adult ADHD were 5.4% and 17.6% (P < .001), respectively. Lifetime comorbid ADHD in both mood disorder populations was associated with earlier age at illness onset (MDD, P = .049; bipolar disorder, P = .005), a higher number of psychiatric comorbidities (eg, MDD and current panic disorder with agoraphobia [P = .002]; bipolar disorder and social phobia [P = .012]), and decreased quality of life (MDD, P = .018).
The overarching findings herein are that the adult ADHD phenotype is commonly reported by individuals with MDD or bipolar disorder and is associated with a greater illness burden and complexity.
The Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 01/2010; 12(3). DOI:10.4088/PCC.09m00861gry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results from pivotal registration trials in major depressive disorder cohere with outcomes from effectiveness studies indicating that the majority of individuals receiving single-agent pharmacotherapy fail to achieve and sustain symptomatic remission. Several factors provided the impetus for this review: suboptimal efficacy with existing pharmacotherapy for major depressive disorder, quetiapine XR efficacy in the acute and maintenance treatment of bipolar depression, emerging pharmacodynamic evidence that quetiapine XR (and/or its metabolites) uniquely engages monoaminergic systems salient to symptom relief in depressive syndromes, the increasing use of second-generation antipsychotics in the treatment of major depressive disorder and the recent FDA review of quetiapine XR in major depressive disorder. Studies reviewed herein are pivotal registration trials that evaluated the acute and maintenance efficacy and tolerability of quetiapine XR (as monotherapy and as adjunctive treatment) in major depressive disorder. In addition, we also review recent investigations characterizing the pharmacodynamic effect of quetiapine's principal active metabolite, norquetiapine. All studies were obtained from AstraZeneca (Wilmington, DE, USA) and have been presented at national/international scientific meetings. Taken together, extant studies demonstrated that quetiapine XR (50 - 300 mg) provides rapid and sustained symptomatic improvement in the acute and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder. Quetiapine XR may also offer advantages relative to duloxetine in time to onset of antidepressant action. The major limitations of quetiapine XR use in major depressive disorder relate to weight gain and disrupted glucose/lipid homeostasis as well as sedation/somnolence. Quetiapine XR has tolerability advantages compared with duloxetine on measures of sexual dysfunction. The data from the studies reviewed herein also indicate that quetiapine XR poses a low risk for extrapyramidal side effects in middle-aged and elderly individuals with major depressive disorder.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lithium has long been considered as less than ideal in the management of rapid cycling and mixed states in bipolar disorder. However, these forms of bipolarity represent a generally more difficult phase of the illness to treat with any medication. Increasing knowledge about lithium's other beneficial effects, including protection against suicide and neuromodulatory effects which may protect the brain, make it a first-line treatment for any form of bipolar disorder. As newer therapies become available or receive further exploration, we should look to the past and re-embrace lithium as a core therapeutic modality for bipolarity as we move forward in the field, particularly for forms of the disorder such as rapid cycling and mixed states, historically thought to be more treatment resistant.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aripiprazole is a second-generation antipsychotic with a unique pharmacologic receptor profile that has efficacy in the treatment and prevention of mania in bipolar I disorder. This article reviews the evidence supporting treatment of adults with bipolar I disorder using aripiprazole as monotherapy or adjunctively during acute mania and its utility as an intramuscular agent for agitation in manic patients. Results from one of the longest bipolar maintenance trials which support aripiprazole as a prophylactic mood stabilizer, specifically against manic relapses, will be discussed as well as a post-hoc analysis that suggests efficacy for rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Safety and tolerability issues, patient-focused perspectives and aripiprazole's place in therapy for bipolar mania will be covered.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study treatment-emergent mania/hypomania (TEM) associated with second-generation antidepressant monotherapy in patients with rapid cycling bipolar disorder (RCBD).
Data of patients with RCBD (n = 180) enrolled into two clinical trials were used to study the risk for TEM during second-generation antidepressant monotherapy. History of TEM was retrospectively determined at the initial assessment by asking patients whether they were exposed to second-generation antidepressants and if a hypomania/mania episode emerged during the first four weeks of treatment. Data were analyzed using t-test, chi-square, and logistic regression.
Of the 180 patients (bipolar I disorder, n = 128; bipolar II disorder, n = 52) with RCBD, 85% (n = 153) had at least one antidepressant treatment. Among these patients, 94.1% (144/153) had at least one antidepressant monotherapy treatment. Overall, 49.3% of patients had at least one TEM and 29.1% (116/399) of treatment trials were associated with TEM. In regression analysis, an inverse association between the number of mood episodes in the last 12 months and TEM was observed with an odds ratio of 0.9. However, gender, bipolar subtype, a lifetime history of comorbid anxiety disorder, substance use disorder, or psychosis, and age of mood disorder onset were not associated with TEM. For individual antidepressants, the rates of TEM varied from 42.1% for fluoxetine to 0% for fluvoxamine and mirtazapine. As a group, there was no difference between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and venlafaxine or bupropion in the incidence of TEM.
Use of second-generation antidepressants as monotherapy in RCBD is accompanied by clinically relevant rates of TEM. Even in patients with RCBD, differential vulnerabilities to antidepressant TEM may exist.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Subjective experience of illness affects outcomes among populations with bipolar disorder (BD). This cross-sectional study combined qualitative and quantitative approaches to evaluate perceived treatment effects, concerns and expectations among 90 individuals with BD.
Adults with Type I BD, mean age 36.6 years, 51% women, completed a semi-structured interview that was audio taped, transcribed, coded and analyzed along emergent themes. Quantitative scales measured depressive symptoms (Hamilton Depression Scale/HAM-D), psychopathology (Clinical Global Impression/CGI), and insight and treatment attitudes (Insight and Treatment Attitudes Questionnaire/ITAQ).
Individuals had moderate depression and psychopathology with good insight into need for treatment. Drug treatment was perceived as beneficial, by "stabilizing" or "balancing" mood (42%, N=38), decreasing anxiety/depressive symptoms (19%, N=17) and improving sleep (10%, N=9). While 39%, (N=35) of individuals denied medication concerns, nearly 29%, (N=26) feared possible long-term effects, particularly diabetes or liver/kidney damage. Media stories and advertisements contributed to medication fears. Hopes and expectations for treatment ranged from those that were symptom or functional status-based, such as desiring mood stabilization and elimination of specific symptoms (23%, N=21), to more global hopes such as "being normal" (20%, N=18) or "cured" (18%, N=16).
Limitations include relatively small sample, lack of a comparator, inclusion of only depressed individuals and those willing to discuss their illness experience.
While individuals with BD appreciate the effects of medications, concerns regarding adverse effects and discrepancy between actual and hoped-for outcomes can be substantial. Subjective experience with medications using qualitative and quantitative methods should be explored in order to optimize treatment collaboration and outcomes.