Behavioral Health On Demand: Bipolar Disorder Update: Basic Pharmacologic Treatment in Primary Care

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This intermediate lecture will review tools to use to diagnose bipolar disorder in primary care including brief screeners as well as discuss basic pharmacologic treatments that most primary care providers would be comfortable with and can be used to either treat patients for bipolar in primary care or to bridge patients until they can access specialty mental health services.


  1. Use psychiatric history including brief screening questions and instruments in order to diagnose or suspect a bipolar disorder diagnosis in a primary care clinic.
  2. List the different medications and classes that are commonly used in treating patients with bipolar disorder in primary care, including an introduction to tools such as the CANMAT/ISBD 2018 bipolar disorder guidelines Waco Guide to Psychopharmacology in Primary Care.
  3. Explain the evidence base for treating bipolar disorder in primary care and the support required to do so effectively.

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