Implementation of measurement based care for bipolar disorder: systematic symptom assessment to improve patient care

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Nursing


Measurement-based care (MBC) in psychiatry facilitates greater recognition and communication of problematic symptoms. MBC is not commonly utilized in the routine care of individuals with bipolar disorder, resulting in failure to recognize treatment failure or subsyndromal symptoms. The purpose of this project was to improve patient outcomes through implementation of the Altman Self-Rating Mania Scale and Quick Inventory of Depression-Self Report as way to incorporate MBC at a community mental health center. Paper and pencil copies of assessment tools were utilized by clinicians with individuals aged 18 and over with a diagnosis of bipolar 1 or 2 disorder at the beginning of their appointments. Information about assessment tool use was collected via a tracking sheet and reviewed weekly. Of the 11 patients with bipolar disorder seen during the project timeframe, seven completed one or more assessment tool, one patient presentation was not clinically appropriate for assessment tool use, one patient preferred not to respond, and in two instances the provider forgot to use the tools. Utilization of both tools is indicated in order to assess both manic and depressive symptoms. Results support the integration of MBC into the EMR in order to reinforce the process of care. The relatively high use of one tool (5 of 11 times) supports the switch to a single tool to assess both manic and depressive symptoms. The Internal States Scale was identified as the tool that best fits the identified clinical and patient needs.




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