Objectives: To determine the effects of mood and additional clinical variables on different domains of current interviewer-rated social adjustment reflecting the reported behaviour of patients with bipolar disorder (BD).
Method: Multi-center cross-sectional study employing multiple linear regression to investigate whether mood and other clinical features, previously linked to self-rated social adjustment, were associated with eight domains of interviewer-rated social adjustment in 253 BD patients. Baseline variables were entered sequentially in blocks representing current mood, demographic, current other psychiatric, past psychiatric and current treatment variables.
Results: Mood episode or symptoms together with five other variables (borderline/antisocial personality disorder, male gender, living alone, hypnotic drug and drugs for physical illness) were associated with impairment on two or more domains of interviewer-rated social adjustment. They explained up to 31% of the variance in social adjustment, although friction, dependence and overactivity were associated with a different pattern of variables. Hypomanic symptoms were associated with increased friction and worse social adjustment with the extended family in the whole sample but improved performance and social and leisure activities in patients who were not in acute bipolar episode.
Conclusion: Clinicians may determine up to about 30% of outcome in current social adjustment in BD patients from the patient's current mood episode or symptoms and a small number of other clinical or demographic variables. Hypomanic episodes and symptoms usually worsen friction and overall social adjustment, but in patients who are not in acute episode, hypomanic symptoms can increase performance and social and leisure activities.