Background: Up to 40% of patients with bipolar disorder are misdiagnosed, usually with major depression disorder.
Objective: The purpose was to describe the current state of the science of the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder, with the ultimate goal of improving psychiatric diagnostic workups including screening.
Design: An integrative review was conducted using standard criteria for evaluating research articles.
Results: Forty-nine articles met the eligibility criteria. Articles explored patient-related and health care provider-related factors contributing to the misdiagnosis of bipolar disorder as well as consequences of misdiagnosis. Clinically oriented, reliable, and valid screening tools for bipolar disorder also were reviewed.
Conclusions: Awareness of multiple, challenging patient-related factors and more comprehensive assessment and screening by health care providers may reduce misdiagnosis.
Keywords: bipolar disorder; mental illness; misdiagnosis.