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Brief Reports   |    
Inadequate Treatment of Black Americans With Bipolar Disorder
Kaja R. Johnson, M.A.; Sheri L. Johnson, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200590
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Both authors are with the Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley (e-mail: kjohnson@berkeley.edu).

Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association


Objective  This study examined disparity in bipolar disorder treatment for black and white Americans.

Methods  The sample included 167 respondents to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication who had lifetime type I or II bipolar disorder. Treatment adequacy and potential correlates were assessed.

Results  No black respondent received minimally adequate mood-stabilizing treatment, and blacks were less likely than whites to have taken a mood stabilizer in the prior year. Service use, sociodemographic characteristics, and symptom expression did not explain this disparity.

Conclusions  There was substantial racial inequality in bipolar disorder treatment. Issues guiding this disparity may be unique to this disorder, and clarification of the source of disparity is needed.

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Anchor for Jump
Table 1Unweighted means for manic and depressive symptom severity and functional interference for persons with bipolar disorder, by racea
Table Footer Note

a Possible scores range from 1 to 5 for each manic symptom and 1 to 4 for each depressive symptom, with higher scores indicating greater severity. Analyses included only the National Comorbidity Survey Replication respondents who had experienced a manic (N=82) or depressive (N=90) episode in the prior year.

Table Footer Note

b Possible scores range from 1 to 10, with higher values indicating greater interference of symptoms.



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