Factors Associated with Non-Remission in Bipolar Disorder: The Multicenter Treatment Survey for Bipolar Disorder in Psychiatric Outpatient Clinics (MUSUBI)

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2020 Mar 31;16:881-890. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S246136. eCollection 2020.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to identify factors associated with non-remission in bipolar disorder.

Patients and methods: The multicenter treatment survey for bipolar disorder in psychiatric outpatient clinics (MUSUBI) study used a questionnaire administered at 176 clinics throughout Japan from September to October 2016. Clinic psychiatrists performed a retrospective medical record survey of consecutive cases with bipolar disorder. Patients were considered to be in remission if they met all of the following criteria: they were not in a mixed state, their manic or depressive symptoms were either borderline or nonexistent (corresponding to 2 or 1 points on the Clinical Global Impressions Scale, Bipolar Version), and their psychiatrists clinically considered them to be in remission. Enrolled patients were classified into remitters group and non-remitters group and demographic and clinical characteristics were contrasted between the groups. Non-remitters were compared with remitters, using a series of logistic regression analyses.

Results: A total of 3130 patients (1420 men; mean age: 50.3 years) were included in this study; 1307 patients (41.8%) were in remission. Of the remaining 1823 patients, 1260 (40.3%) had mild to severe depression, 261 (8.3%) suffered from manic or hypomanic episodes, and 302 (9.6%) were in a mixed state. Logistic regression analyses found the following eight factors to be significantly correlated with non-remission in patients with bipolar disorder: female gender, younger age, unemployed status, rapid cycling pattern, comorbid alcohol/substance abuse, poorer social function, lithium non-use, and antidepressant use.

Conclusion: The MUSUBI study, the largest nationwide investigation on bipolar disorder, identified eight clinically relevant factors associated with non-remission in bipolar patients. They have important clinical implications; further prospective studies are necessary to replicate these findings and to guide better managements for those in serious needs.

Keywords: antipsychotics; bipolar disorder; mood stabilizer; nationwide study; non-remission.

Grant support

This study was supported by Ken Tanaka memorial research grant.