Mental health service use before and after diagnosis of early-onset bipolar disorder

Sara E. Evans-Lacko, Susan DosReis, Elizabeth Kastelic, Anne W. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


To investigate patterns of mental health services psychotropic treatments and psychiatric diagnoses received by youth diagnosed with bipolar disorder insurance claims of 323 youth (ages 6-18 years) were examined from the 2000-2001 Thomson/Medstat-MarketScan(c) database. Longitudinal patterns are assessed 6 months prior and following a new treatment episode of bipolar disorder. Youth subgroups (i.e., continuous, intermittent and discontinuous services) defined by persistence of claims associated with a bipolar diagnosis are compared by demographic and clinical characteristics. Virtually all youth had high rates of mental health service use and treatment immediately following initial bipolar diagnosis but only half continued to receive services 6 months following diagnosis. A continuous pattern of claims associated with a bipolar diagnosis was associated with using more resources receiving initial diagnosis from a mental health professional being in a managed care plan and having more psychiatric diagnoses following index bipolar diagnosis. Further research should examine how continuity of claims for bipolar is related to treatment quality and clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-413
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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