Using the most recent diagnostic criteria increases the prevalence of mixed features in patients with bipolar disorder more than threefold, study findings indicate.

Of 331 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria between 2003 and 2013, 6.0% were classed as having mixed episodes.

However, this rate increased significantly to 19.6% when Won-Myong Bahk (The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea) and colleagues recategorized the patients according to the DSM, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) criteria.

The researchers explain that, according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria “the diagnosis of a mixed episode applies only to patients with bipolar I disorder who exhibit the simultaneous presence of full manic and full depressive symptoms for at least 1 week.”

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