Health Services Research & Development

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Cerimele JM, Fortney JC, Pyne JM, Curran GM. Bipolar disorder in primary care: a qualitative study of clinician and patient experiences with diagnosis and treatment. Family Practice. 2019 Jan 25; 36(1):32-37.
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Abstract: Objective: To understand primary care patients' and clinicians' experiences with diagnosis and treatment of patients with bipolar disorder in primary care. Methods: We conducted a qualitative study using thematic content analysis of individual interviews with nine primary care clinicians and six patients from Federally Qualified Health Centers to understand their experiences with the diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder. Results: Themes of bipolar disorder detection, referral to specialty mental health care and medication treatment emerged from individual interviews with primary care patients and clinicians. Clinicians and patients faced challenges deciding to continue with care in primary care that is easier to access, but less intensive, than specialty care that can be harder to access but at times of higher quality. Conclusions: Potential next steps in research include identifying ways to support primary care clinicians in detection of patients with bipolar disorder, and strategies to support treatment of patients in primary care with easier access to specialty care including consultation in primary care or co-management with specialty care.