Strategies for improving treatment of bipolar disorder: integration of measurement and management


Dr Gary S. Sachs, Bipolar Clinic and Research Program Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts USA


Objective:  Bipolar disorder is a common and complex condition associated with high rates of disability and high health care costs. The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD).

Method:  The Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD) was conceived in response to an NIMH request for proposals to study the effectiveness of treatments for Bipolar Disorder. Aspects of this program have been adapted and enriched for presentation in this paper.

Result:  Designed for implementation in routine practice across a variety of settings, STEP-BD offers a disease management program in which standardized assessments are linked to critical decision points in clinical management pathways.

Conclusion:  This paper describes strategies used in STEP-BD to improve the treatment of Bipolar disorder: a simple conceptual model, which integrates assessments and management, and several specialized elements, used in the STEP-BD assessment package.