[Who are patients suffering from bipolar disorders in France? The TEMPPO survey: patients' sociodemographic and clinical characteristics data]

Encephale. 2012 Jun;38(3):211-23. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2012.04.007. Epub 2012 Jun 5.
[Article in French]


Aim: One of the aims of the TEMPPO study was to describe the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of a cohort of adult outpatients with type I or type II bipolar disorders (as defined by DSM-IV criteria) in France.

Methods: TEMPPO is a multicenter, cross-sectional, non-interventional study conducted in France between November 2008 and May 2009, with a random sample of academic and private practice psychiatrists. Each psychiatrist who agreed to participate in the study had to: complete a register with data on all consecutive patients (up to 20 patients) consulting during a 2-month period and fulfilling inclusion criteria; include in the study the first five patients of the register with an on-going consultation for at least 6 months; for each of which a detailed questionnaire had been assessed, notably their sociodemographic and bipolar clinical characteristics. Adult outpatients diagnosed with bipolar disorders (BD) were enrolled if fulfilling the following inclusion criteria: man or woman, aged 18 and above, diagnosed bipolar type I or II according to DSM-IV criteria, treated (whatever the treatment strategy) or not, and followed-up for at least 6 months by the participating psychiatrist.

Results: One hundred and thirty-five psychiatrists included 619 patients with bipolar disorder (197 and 422 followed-up in public and private practice respectively). The estimated prevalence of patients with bipolar disorders consulting psychiatrists was 0.43%. Type I bipolar disorder was the most frequent condition (58% of the patients). As a whole, bipolar disorder was associated with severe handicap (mean global disease Clinical Global Impression [CGI]-Severity score of 4.4 and mean GAF [Global Assessment of Functioning] score of 59), with more depressive episodes than manic episodes (6 vs. 4) or hypomania (6 vs. 3), a high proportion of rapid cycles (11%), psychiatric comorbidities (45% of patients), obesity (16% of patients), libido dysfunction and associated psychotic symptoms. Current manic phase was associated with more pronounced illness severity and lowest functioning. More than half of the patients (57%) had a family history of psychiatric disorders.

Conclusion: This study could shed some light for a better understanding of demographics and clinical patterns of patients with bipolar disorders consulting psychiatrists in France. The results emphasize the severity of bipolar disorders with mainly depressive episodes, a high proportion of rapid-cycling, comorbidities and associated psychotic symptoms; these characteristics being more marked in patients suffering from BD I. Furthermore, this study confirms the strong negative impact on social and professional life of French bipolar patients, requiring specific management in addition to the symptomatic treatment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Utilization
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Social Adjustment
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Antipsychotic Agents