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Bauer MS, Biswas K, Kilbourne AM. Enhancing multiyear guideline concordance for bipolar disorder through collaborative care. The American journal of psychiatry. 2009 Nov 1; 166(11):1244-50.
OBJECTIVE: Implementation of evidence-based care for serious mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder has been suboptimal. Improving and sustaining concordance with clinical practice guidelines has been a cornerstone of efforts to enhance evidence-based care and improve outcomes. For bipolar disorder, however, there has been only one regional controlled trial reporting guideline concordance, and no data are available for time periods longer than 1 year. In a multiregion effectiveness trial in veterans with bipolar disorder, the authors assessed the effects of a collaborative care model for this disorder on guideline concordance in care over a 3-year period. METHOD: A total of 306 participants with bipolar disorder were randomly assigned at hospital discharge to 3 years of follow-up treatment with a collaborative care model or to usual care. The collaborative care model included provider support through simplified practice guidelines, patient skills management enhancement through group psychoeducation, and facilitated access and continuity via nurse care management. Concordance with guideline-recommended antimanic pharmacotherapy was assessed at baseline and prospectively over six 6-month epochs. Group differences were assessed with generalized estimating equations that controlled for relevant covariates. RESULTS: The collaborative care model achieved significantly higher rates of guideline-concordant antimanic treatment than usual care over the entire follow-up period. Baseline guideline concordance, but not patient age or bipolar type, was associated with higher concordance. CONCLUSIONS: Multicomponent collaborative care models, which include not only provider support for guideline implementation but also patient self-management skill enhancement and facilitated treatment access and continuity, can improve guideline concordance over the long term, even in severely impaired patients.