The U.S. standard for clinical diagnoses of children and youths with bipolar disorder may need further assessment for reliability and accuracy, concludes a report published in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
A team of researchers, led by Mark Olfson, a professor at Columbia University, based their conclusions on a sample of 1,000 people under the age of 19. They found a 40 percent increase in the number of office visits for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder between 1994 and 2003, signifying the importance of improving diagnostic criteria.
Research on medication specifically for children with bipolar disorder remains lacking, the study adds, demonstrating a need for the well-developed diagnosis criteria.
“National Trends in the Outpatient Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder in Youth” is available at the Archives of General Psychiatry.
A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week