Clinical Assessment and Management of Bipolar Disorder – Summary of RANZCP and BAP Guidelines

Posted on:April 28, 2018
Last Updated: November 10, 2023
Time to read: 10 minutes

Mood disorders are broadly classified as bipolar or depressive disorders.

Bipolar disorder is a chronic recurrent mood disorder where patients can continue to experience subthreshold symptoms, which impact significantly on the quality of life.

Bipolar disorder also poses a significant economic burden. The total costs of Bipolar Disorder I from US data were estimated at $202.1 billion in 2015, corresponding to an average of $81,559 per individual, while the excess costs of Bipolar Disorder I were estimated at $119.8 billion, corresponding to an average of $48,333 per individual. [1]

We covered the management of unipolar depressive disorders based on RANZCP guidelines in a previous article.

In this review, we will be focusing on clinical management of bipolar disorder based on the main points from RANZCP mood disorder guidelines [2] and the evidence-based guidelines for treating bipolar disorder from the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP). [3]

This article does not cover management of bipolar disorder in special groups (e.g., perinatal, adolescents) or complex presentations which will be covered in another article.