A lithium clinic for bipolar patients: 2-year outcome of the first 148 patients
Article first published online: 18 JUL 2008
Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume 104, Issue 5, pages 387–390, November 2001
How to Cite
Licht, R. W., Vestergaard, P., Rasmussen, N.-A., Jepsen, K., Brodersen, A. and Hansen, P. E. B. (2001), A lithium clinic for bipolar patients: 2-year outcome of the first 148 patients. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 104: 387–390. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2001.00389.x
- Issue published online: 18 JUL 2008
- Article first published online: 18 JUL 2008
- Accepted for publication May 14, 2001
- bipolar disorder;
- outcome study
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.