Get access

Quality of life in patients with bipolar I depression: data from 920 patients

Authors


  • LNY has been a grant recipient, speaker and a member of advisory boards of Lilly, Janssen, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol Myers Squibb, Astrazeneca and Pfizer. YL has been a speaker and member of advisory boards for GlaxoSmithKline, Lilly, Sanofi-Synthelabo, Roche, Novartis, Pierre Fabre and Pfizer. RRF does not have any conflicts of interest. KHD, SDH and AAK were employees of GlaxoSmithKline at the time of submission of this manuscript.

Lakshmi N Yatham, MD, Department of Psychiatry, UBC Hospital, 2255 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6S 1K6, Canada.
Fax: 604 822 7922;
e-mail: yatham@interchange.ubc.ca

Abstract

Objective:  To determine the impact of acute depression on quality of life (QOL) in patients with bipolar I disorder and to compare these results with published data on QOL in patients with unipolar depression.

Methods:  Quality of life was assessed using the SF-36 in bipolar patients (n = 958) who had recently experienced an episode of acute bipolar depression and participated in a large randomized, double-blind, safety and efficacy trial. Seven studies that included SF-36 data from patients with unipolar depression were identified in the published literature and descriptive comparisons of SF-36 scores were made between the unipolar depression trials and this bipolar depression trial.

Results:  There were 920 patients who completed the SF-36. Mean transformed scores, which could range from 0 to 100, were very low in bipolar depressed patients for the role-physical (36.7), vitality (22.4), social functioning (29.9), role-emotion (11.4), and mental health (31.0) subscales. Mean SF-36 scores for all subscales were significantly and inversely correlated (p < 0.0001) with the HAM-D indicating that patients with milder depressive symptoms had better QOL. Further, the mean SF-36 scores for the bipolar sample were consistently lower compared with published data on QOL in unipolar depression on four of the eight subscales: general health; social functioning; role-physical, and role-emotional.

Conclusions:  While both unipolar and bipolar depression have serious detrimental effects on patient QOL, our results suggest that some aspects of QOL may be worse in bipolar depression.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary