Forensic settings

What is prevalence?

Prevalence quantifies the proportion of individuals in a population who have a disorder during a specific time period, while incidence refers to the number of new cases that develop in a population during a specific time period. In disorders of short duration, incidence and prevalence rates may be similar, however with disorders of long duration, such as bipolar disorder, there can be variation between the two. Current, or ‘point’ prevalence is the proportion of individuals who have the disorder at a given point in time, ‘period’ prevalence measures the proportion of individuals who have the disorder during a specified period (e.g. 1 year), a ‘lifetime’ prevalence is the proportion of individuals in the population who have ever had the disorder.

What is the evidence regarding prevalence of bipolar disorder in forensic settings?

Moderate to high quality evidence finds the prevalence of bipolar disorder in older prisoners (> 50 years) is around 4.5%, from studies conducted in the USA.

No reviews were identified that assessed rates in other age groups or regions.

April 2019

Last updated at: 5:24 am, 9th April 2019
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

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