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Influence of Clinical and Neuropsychological Variables on the Psychosocial and Occupational Outcome of Remitted Bipolar PatientsMur M.a · Portella M.J.b · Martinez-Aran A.c · Pifarre J.a · Vieta E.c
aMental Health Service, Santa Maria Hospital, IRBLleida (Institute for Research in Biomedicine), University of Lleida, Lleida, bPsychiatry Service, Research Institute, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, CIBER-SAM, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, and cClinical Institute of Neuroscience, Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, IDIBAPS, CIBER-SAM, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Objective: To measure the impact of the clinical course, the residual mood symptoms and the cognitive variables on the psychosocial and occupational functioning in bipolar disorder patients in remission. Method: Forty-four euthymic DSM-IV-TR bipolar lithium-treated outpatients were assessed with a clinical interview and neuropsychological testing. To assess psychosocial function, some psychometric scales were administered (Global Assessment of Functioning Scale and World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule), and to evaluate occupational function, the sample was divided according to the current work status (active vs. inactive). Cognitive assessment was performed by means of a neuropsychological test battery tapping into the main cognitive domains (executive function, attention, processing speed, verbal memory and visual memory). Results: Measures of psychosocial functioning were significantly correlated with cognition (processing speed, p = 0.004), clinical severity (p = 0.03) and residual depressive symptoms (p = 0.05). Occupational functioning showed a significant effect with a cognitive domain (visual memory, p = 0.006) and a clinical variable (chronicity, p = 0.04) but not with residual mood symptoms (p > 0.2). Conclusions: Remission in bipolar disorder is not synonymous with recovering in psychosocial and occupational functioning. Cognitive deficits, clinical course and persistent subsyndromal symptoms may compromise psychosocial functioning, and neurocognitive symptoms and chronicity may particularly affect occupational functioning.
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