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Healthcare Resource Utilization in Bipolar Depression Compared with Unipolar Depression: Results of a United States Population-Based Study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 November 2014



This study examined healthcare utilization in the past year by subjects who screened positive for bipolar versus unipolar depression.


A self-administered survey was completed in 2002 by a United States population-based sample. Respondents were categorized into one of three subgroups: bipolar depressed screen positive (BP DEP+, n=394); unipolar depressed screen positive (UP DEP+, n=794); and control subjects (n=1,612).


For depressive symptoms in the past year, BP DEP+ respondents were significantly more likely than UP DEP+ respondents to report a healthcare visit to a number of diverse care providers. In analyses controlled for demographics and depression severity, the differences in psychiatric hospitalization, psychologist/counselor outpatient visit, substance abuse/social services visit, and number of emergency room visits remained significant between BP DEP+ and UP DEP+ respondents.


Subjects with self-reported bipolar depression sought care more often from a number of diverse healthcare resources than subjects with self-reported unipolar depression. These findings underscore the morbidity associated with bipolar depression.

Original Research
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006

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