Mood Disorders Clinical Practice Guideline
Guidance on the clinical management of depressive and bipolar disorders, specifically focusing on diagnosis and treatment strategies.
Clinical Practice Guidelines are evidence-based documents that include recommendations intended to optimise patient care and assist health care practitioners to make decisions about appropriate health care for specific clinical circumstances. Clinical Practice Guidelines issued by RANZCP have a limited life. They are regularly reviewed and will be updated in light of appropriate new evidence that may emerge.
The RANZCP produced a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) on Mood Disorders in 2015 and released an update in 2020. In November 2022, a steering group, Chaired by Prof Bruce Singh, was formed to oversee an external review of the evidence for long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy for the treatment of mood disorders.
The Anna Freud Centre (AFC), based in the United Kingdom, commenced their review in October 2023. It is anticipated that the review will be completed in April 2023. For more information please visit the Mood Disorders Hub on the website.
Key practice points
The 2020 guideline builds on the previous guideline (issued in 2015) and maintains its joint focus on both depressive and bipolar disorders.
It provides up-to-date recommendations and guidance within an evidence-based framework, supplemented by expert clinical consensus.
The 2020 guideline:
- discusses the diagnosis and management of both depressive and bipolar disorders, recognising that these have increasingly been conceptualised as part of a spectrum
- illustrates step-by-step the clinical management of mood disorders
- provides guidance on the management of psychiatric comorbidities, including comorbid anxiety and comorbid substance use
- considers the clinical management of mood disorders with complex presentations and in special populations.
Guideline evidence review and related resources
Access information about the review of evidence in this guideline, along with related documents and resources at the mood disorders hub.
Access further guidance related to mood disorders in the following documents developed by the College:
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS)
- Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
- Ketamine therapy
- Medicinal cannabis
- Psychotherapy conducted by psychiatrists
Webinars, podcasts and e-learning modules
- Psych Matters podcast - New Clinical Guidelines for Mood Disorders: Management of Bipolar Disorder (26 Feb 2021)
- Psych Matters podcast - New Clinical Guidelines for Mood Disorders: Management of Major Depressive Disorder and Treatment Non-Response (14 Feb 2021)
- Innovations in the 2020 RANZCP Clinical Practice Guideline for Mood Disorders – member login required