The views of early intervention service staff on the treatment of first episode bipolar disorder.
Marwaha S., Beirne T., Broome M., Upthegrove R., Rowland T., Thompson A.
OBJECTIVE: Little is known about how first episode bipolar disorder (BD) is managed in early intervention for psychosis services (EIS). We aimed to investigate the knowledge and views of EIS staff on the assessment and treatment of BD. METHODS: A 27-item anonymised online questionnaire was distributed to EIS mental health professionals in England. Descriptive data analysis was undertaken. RESULTS: Responses were received from 117 EIS staff. Most were 'fairly confident' in their knowledge about causes, presentations and relapse indicators of BD, but less confident on pharmacological and psychological treatments. Eighty five percent expressed the view that more BD training was necessary in this area with 78% reporting no clear care packages within the service. Seventy two percent believe early BD should be treated within EIS only if patients have psychosis. CONCLUSIONS: Clearer care packages and staff training are needed for EIS staff to optimise care for BD.