THE BRAIN ON FIRE: A REVIEW OF PATIENT CENTERED CARE FOR WOMEN DIAGNOSED WITH BIPOLAR DISORDER
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Mental health disorders are cited as one of the leading problems of disease worldwide and bipolar disorder in particular affects more than 2.6% of the US adults (National Institute of Mental Health, 2015). Women diagnosed with bipolar disorder experience additional complex issues with concerns to diagnosis and treatment. Although many initiatives are being studied to encourage better treatment of individuals diagnosed with severe mental health illness (SMI), specific focus on improving the application of patient-centered care to women diagnosed with bipolar disorder requires additional consideration. Bipolar disorder in women can be especially challenging to identify and consequently the occurrence of gender-linked delay in suitable diagnosis and treatment is common. Due to the differences in the expression of bipolar disorder, it is crucial that that physicians recognize sex, gender and reproductive influences to help provide optimal treatment and diagnosis for women. This study was conducted by using qualitative methods of historical research via literature review to increase the understanding of the application of patient-centered care of women diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The aim of this study is to identify recommendations to improve treatment. The literature review determined that the quality of care for women diagnosed with bipolar disorder would be improved by creating individualized plans of treatment that are based on patient's preferences and beliefs, delivering sufficient information and education of treatment possibilities through effective communication, and increasing the access to mental health care. The information found in this study provides recommendations for implementation and evaluation.