Clinical Convergence®: A Patient-Centered Approach to Child and Adolescent Bipolar Depression

Program Overview

Pediatric bipolar disorder (PBD) remains notoriously unrecognized and difficult to diagnose; children fail to meet the full adult DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, the course of their disease changes over time, and they often provide poor histories. In addition, the treatment of PBD, particularly bipolar depression in the pediatric population, is also difficult due to the lack of available medications and the need for polypharmacy and multimodal treatment. This activity will provide attendees with guidance on how to readily identify and diagnose bipolar depression in pediatric patients. Also, it will emphasize the practical applications of available efficacy, safety, and tolerability data on approved therapies for the treatment of pediatric patients with bipolar depression. The activity will conclude with an adolescent patient with bipolar disorder and her parent joining the faculty to discuss their clinical journey.

Credit Expired

Target Audience

Psychiatric-mental health psychiatric advanced practice nurses (APNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists (CNS), and registered nurses (RNs) who are directly involved with diagnosing and managing pediatric patients with bipolar depression.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  • Correctly diagnose bipolar depression in children and adolescents based on DSM-5 criteria, characteristics of the disorder, and use of screening tools
  • Treat bipolar depression in adolescent and pediatric patients based on evidence-based data and guidelines for management

Activity Faculty


Sara Jones, PhD, RN, APRN, PMHNP-BC

Associate Professor, Specialty Coordinator
Psychiatric Mental Health NP Program
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
College of Nursing
Little Rock, AR


Robert A. Kowatch, MD, PhD

Professor, Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry
The Ohio State Medical Center / Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Division of Pulmonary Medicine
Columbus, OH


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