The authors sought to compare the outcomes of patients treated by psychiatric residents and attending psychiatrists.
Charts of 121 outpatients meeting criteria for bipolar spectrum disorder were analyzed. Residents treated 41, and attending physicians 80, of 121 patients. Improvement was defined as at least 12 consecutive months of the following: Remission—euthymic mood; Response—much improved mood, not meeting DSM-IV criteria for mild illness; Relapse—remission or response followed by recurrence. The Active Illness group contained patients who did not have 12 months of Remission or Response.
The percentage of improved patients was similar between residents (46.3%; 19/41) and attending physicians (42.5%; 34/80). There was a significant difference in the number of patients in the Remission or Response categories between attending physicians: (26.5%; 21/80) and residents (12.2%; 5/41).
Similar numbers of residents’ and attending physicians’ patients achieved improvement for 12 months, but twice the number of attending physicians’ patients achieved and maintained euthymia.