Pharmacopsychiatry 2010; 43(6): 225-232
DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1254153
Original Paper

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Characteristics and Clinical Changes during Hospitalization in Bipolar and Psychotic Disorder Patients with versus without Substance-Use Disorders

A. Vincenti1 , 2 , 3 , A. Ventriglio2 , 3 , 4 , R. J. Baldessarini2 , 5 , A. Talamo1 , 2 , 5 , G. Fitzmaurice5 , F. Centorrino2 , 3 , 5
  • 1Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health, and Sensory Functions (NESMOS), Second Medical School, Sapienza University of Rome, and Unit of Psychiatry, Sant’ Andrea Hospital, Rome, Italy
  • 2International Consortium for Psychotic and Bipolar Disorder Research, McLean Division of Massachusetts General Hospital, Belmont, MA, USA
  • 3Psychopharmacology Research Department, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA, USA
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Further Information

Publication History

received 09.11.2009 revised 21.04.2010

accepted 28.04.2010

Publication Date:
22 July 2010 (eFirst)


Background: Co-morbid substance-use disorders (SUDs) are prevalent among patients with severe psychiatric disorders, but the characteristics of such patients remain incompletely defined, and their current treatments and responses, poorly documented.

Methods: We evaluated the records of 481 consecutive inpatients diagnosed with DSM-IV bipolar or schizoaffective disorders, or schizophrenia, admitted to McLean Hospital in 2004 or 2009. Demographic and clinical characteristics, and treatments, were extracted from hospital and pharmacy records for bivariate and multivariate analyses.

Results: SUD prevalence increased 1.84-times from 2004 (31.3%) to 2009 (57.6%). Patients with (n=204) versus without co-morbid SUDs (n=277) were similar in many respects, but in multivariate modeling, the following factors were more likely with SUD, in rank-order: co-morbid anxiety disorders > men more than women > greater prevalence in 2009 vs. 2004 > younger age > greater doses of mood-stabilizers > shorter hospitalization.

Conclusions: Hospitalized patients with severe primary psychiatric disorders, and comorbid SUD were more likely to be young and have anxiety disorders, to receive more combinations and higher doses of mood-stabilizers, and show more improvement in impulsivity and hostility, but otherwise differed little in treatment-responses. Prevalence of SUD rose substantially in the past five years, with increased but largely unproved use of mood-stabilizers.



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