Effect of number of episodes on wellbeing and functioning of patients with bipolar disorder

Authors

  • Glenda M. MacQueen,

    1. Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and Dept of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • L. Trevor Young,

    1. Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and Dept of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Janine C. Robb,

    1. Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and Dept of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Michael Marriott,

    1. Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and Dept of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Robert G. Cooke,

    1. Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and Dept of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Russell T. Joffe

    1. Mood Disorders Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario and Clarke Institute of Psychiatry, and Dept of Psychiatry Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Glenda M. MacQueen, MD, Phd, 4N77A, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University Medical Center, 1200 Main St W, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8N 3Z5

Abstract

Objective: To examine the relationship between number of episodes and inter-episode functioning in bipolar disorder.

Method: Sixty-four euthymic subjects with bipolar affective disorder completed the Medical Outcomes Questionnaire Short Form and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Goodness-of-fit models were used to define the relation between episode number and level of function.

Results: Non-linear logarithmic and power relations best described the association between number of episodes and outcome. Number of past depressions was a stronger determinant of outcome than past manias.

Conclusion: Strategies to minimize the number of episodes experienced by patients with bipolar illness must be pursued aggressively if function is to be maintained, with particular attention given to minimizing episodes of depression.

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