OBJECTIVES: To assess feasibility and clinical significance of tracking mania and depression in community college students before and after early identification and intervention.METHODS: From Affective Illness to Recovery: STudent Access to Rapid Treatment (FAIRSTART) is an early intervention program to provide diagnostic therapeutic consultation, short-term care, and community ongoing care referral for 18-28 year-old outpatient community college students (mean age 22.9±4.0 years) experiencing manic symptoms. Over three years, 54 FAIRSTART participants (70% with DSM-IV bipolar I/II/not otherwise specified disorder, BDI/II/NOS) were assessed with the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for BD (STEP-BD) Affective Disorders Evaluation (ADE) and followed (range: one-time consult to 4.3±3.6 visits over 3-6 month follow-up) with the STEP-BD Clinical Monitoring Form.RESULTS: 38/54 patients (70%) had BDI/II/NOS, 11 unipolar depression (20%), 1 psychosis spectrum disorder (2%), 2 dysthymia/persistent depressive disorder (4%), and 2 incomplete intake with mood disorder diagnosis undetermined (4%). Average illness duration was 9.1±5.3 years. Among the 38 BD I/II/NOS patients, depression (SUM-D, t(30)=6.5; p<0.001) and mania (SUM-M, t(30)=4.7; p<0.001) scores improved significantly from baseline to last visit, with 17 (44.7%) reporting recovery by time transitioned from FAIRSTART to community care (after 4.3±3.6 visits).CONCLUSIONS: Short-term, early intervention in community college students with mood symptoms appeared feasible and yielded significant improvements in depression and mania scores. However, additional studies, with longer-term follow-ups, larger sample sizes, and comparison to current care standards, are needed to determine this early intervention program's impact on trajectory of mania symptoms in transitional age young adult populations.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2021.08.001
View details for PubMedID 34391959