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Researchers have linked mood instability with a wider range of mental disorders than previously assumed and with worse clinical outcomes for the patients when left untreated.
The research, published in BMJ Open, was conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King's College London. The study's findings give credence to screening for mood instability with all common mental disorders as well as reasons for treating those in conjunction with standard regimens.
The study's strongest finding was that mood instability is more common in a wider variety of mental health disorders than previously assumed. The study looked at the electronic health records of nearly 28,000 adults who entered mental health treatment at the South London and Maudlsey NHS Trust from April 2006 to March 2013.
Mood instability was identified using natural language process (NLP), a common test. Researchers documented the number of days spent in hospital, hospitalization frequencies, and prescriptions of antipsychotics or mood stabilisers. Patients were tracked for five years to conclude the study.
Of those hospitalizaed, about 12 percent had a mood instability. People with bipolar disorder were most likely to have a mood instability (23 percent), as expected. Those with a personality disorder or schizophrenia were also likely to have mood instability (18 and 16 percent respectively).
Mood instability was directly related to the number of days spent in hospital, the frequency of hospitalization, and the likelihood of compulsory admission (forced admission) to hospital. An increased likelihood of prescription for antipsychotics or mood stabilisers was also associated. If mood instability went untreated, patients were far more likely to have longer hospital stays that happen more frequently and were more likely to be given compulsory hospitalization.
The study was conducted using a text mining tool made specifically to conduct NLP tests on patients with mental disorders.
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