Neurocognitive predictors of performance-based functional capacity in bipolar disorder



Neurocognitive impairment can predict functional capacity in individuals with bipolar disorder, though little research has examined whether different neurocognitive domains impact specific types of tasks. This study examined the relationship between several neurocognitive variables and the UCSD Performance-Based Skills Assessment (UPSA; Patterson et al., 2011) to identify the domains and tests that best predict the performance across the subscales. Forty-seven euthymic participants who were diagnosed with either Bipolar I or Bipolar II were recruited and assessed on a battery of neuropsychological measures and the UPSA. Correlational and regression analyses were run to identify neurocognitive predictors of UPSA subscales. Per the literature, verbal learning and memory and executive function composites were first examined. Verbal learning and memory predicted the Communication subscale and Total score variables above and beyond the estimated FSIQ and symptom rating scales. In a secondary exploratory analysis, the Benton Judgment of Line Orientation subtest predicted the Finance subscale while the California Verbal Learning Test predicted the UPSA total score. Verbal learning and memory emerged as the strongest predictor of functional capacity, suggesting that this domain should be investigated in future mediational and longitudinal studies with the UPSA.