PatientView presents bipolar study at IRBD Budapest

On May 12th PatientView will be making a poster presentation on the findings of 2008 survey of people with bipolar at the European Bipolar forum in Budapest. The presentation takes the form on an interactive poster (developed by Paraxel) which can be viewed at the following link: http://bit.ly/c4XP3S. Below is the abstract of the study.

 Key experiences of bipolar disorder: a global survey of patients, carers, and health care professionals

Alexandra Wyke,1 Michael Berk,2 Guy M. Goodwin,3 John Tiller4

1PatientView, Woodhouse Place, Upper Woodhouse, Knighton, Powys, Wales; 2The University of Melbourne, Geelong, Victoria, Australia; 3University Department, Warneford Hospital, Oxford University, Oxford, UK;  4The University of Melbourne, Albert Road Clinic, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 Abstract

Objective: To examine different perspectives held by health care professionals and individuals with bipolar disorder.

Methods: The survey was conducted between March–July 2008 by PatientView supported by an educational grant from AstraZeneca. Survey data were analyzed from Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, UK, and the USA. The survey was created with input from patient groups and professional groups (World Federation for Mental Health [WFMH], Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks [GAMIAN], European Federation of Associations of Families of People with Mental Illness) [EUFAMI], International Review of Bipolar Disorders [IRBD], International Society for Bipolar Disorders [ISBD]).

Results: The sample consisted of 2,688 people with bipolar disorder, their carers and patient groups, and 643 health care professionals responded. According to 64% of respondents with bipolar disorder and 56% of health care professionals, public awareness of the condition is lacking. Up to 40% of patients waited ≥4 years for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, and 16% waited ≥9 years. Forty-seven percent of health care professionals believe misdiagnosis to be common. Delays in proper treatment were also reported: 25% of respondents had tried ≥9 medications before finding a suitable treatment. Perceived quality of life (QoL) showed divergence between patient and specialist viewpoints, 56% of patients reported “good” or “better-than good” QoL, far lower than the 82% estimate reported by health professionals. QoL was most influenced by satisfaction with care received (10% of patients, 24% of specialists), receiving correct medical treatment/support (23% and 14%), obtaining information to manage life successfully (12% and 13%), and not having to “fight the system” to get treatment/support (11% and 10%).

Conclusions: Individuals with bipolar disorder face the challenges of lack of public awareness, high rates of misdiagnosis, delays in receiving proper medical care, and diminished QoL. Initiatives are needed to improve the management of bipolar disorder in these key areas.

 PatientView would like to thank AstraZeneca for the educational grant it provided in support of this project.