[This article belongs to Volume - 23, Issue - 06]

Study on the reporting checklist of technical specifications for traditional Chinese medicine

Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) receive traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for clinical needs unmet with psychotropic medications. However, the clinical characteristics of practices and outcomes of TCM in BD are not fully understood. This cohort study investigated the clinical characteristics, principal diagnoses, TCM interventions, and TCM prescriptions in patients with BD. Data for a total of 12,113 patients with BD between 1996 and 2013 were withdrawn from Taiwan’s longitudinal health insurance database 2000 (LHID 2000). The chi-square test was used for categorical variables, and the independent t-test was used for continuous variables. A p-value less than 0.05 indicated significance. One thousand three hundred nineteen patients who visited TCM clinics after the diagnosis of BD were in the TCM group, while those who never visited TCM were in the non-TCM group (n = 1053). Compared to the non-TCM group, patients in the TCM group had younger average age, a higher percentage of female individuals, more comorbidities of anxiety and alcohol use disorders, and higher mood stabilizer usage rates. The TCM group exhibited pain-related indications, including joint pain, myalgia, myositis, headache, and sleep disturbances. Corydalis yanhusuo and Shu-Jing-Huo-Xue-Tang were the most useful single herbs and herbal formulae. Physicians need to be aware of the use of TCM in patients with BD.