The discharge medications of 101 Suffolk County subjects with facility and/or research diagnoses of affective disorder were ascertained. Rehospitalization was recorded for a 6-month follow-up period. Twenty-three of 31 patients (74.2%) with a facility diagnosis of depressive disorder were prescribed antidepressants, and 21 of 36 patients with a facility diagnosis of bipolar disorder (58.3%) were prescribed lithium. When research and facility diagnoses concurred, 84.2% of depressed patients were prescribed antidepressants, and 66.7% of bipolars were given lithium. The percentages were lower when the two diagnoses were discrepant. The results for diagnostic congruence were independent of demographic variables, length of stay, and premorbid functioning. Patients prescribed diagnosis-specific medications had a lower rate of rehospitalization (7.3%) than those not prescribed such medications (22.2%). The findings suggest that such medications are prescribed in the more unambiguous cases of affective disorders and are important (with or without antipsychotic treatment) in preventing rehospitalization.
- Affective psychosis