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Keywords:

  • bipolar disorder;
  • bipolar type II;
  • cognitive behavioral therapy;
  • coping behavior;
  • insight;
  • mania;
  • psychoeducation

Objectives:  Psychological studies have identified that different coping strategies affect outcome in bipolar disorder (BD), with the possibility of preventing mania by effective coping with prodromes. This study seeks to examine coping mechanisms using a recently developed scale to clarify the relationship of coping styles to clinical and demographic characteristics, and to identify coping differences between bipolar I and II subjects.

Methods:  The Coping Inventory for Prodromes of Mania (CIPM) was completed by 203 bipolar patients, along with other diagnostic and clinical measures. The CIPM is organized into four factors of coping including: stimulation reduction (SR), problem-oriented coping (PR), seeking professional help (SPH), denial and blame (DB). CIPM psychometric properties and its relationship to demographic and clinical factors, dysfunctional attitudes, and mood symptoms were examined. Coping profiles were generated by BD subtype (I versus II).

Results:  The CIPM displayed psychometric properties consistent with the single previous study with this instrument. Neither demographic/clinical characteristics nor mood symptoms showed any particular relationship with the CIPM. Clear differences in coping also emerged between BD I and BD II subjects. BD I tended to use a wider range of coping strategies and scored highly on the SPH factor as compared to BD II subjects. BD II participants preferred to use DB and PR, but were less likely to use SPH and SR.

Conclusions:  The CIPM appears to be a valid measure of coping. Coping style preferences appear to differ according to bipolar subtype.