Author(s): Robb JC, Cooke RG, Devins GM, Young LT, Joffe RT
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Abstract The objective was to assess the extent and pattern of illness intrusiveness, one measure of quality of life, in subjects with bipolar disorder (BD) and to determine whether specific illness variables had influenced the degree of intrusiveness experienced. To compare findings from BD subjects relative to published findings for subjects with chronic medical conditions. The study involved the administration of a self-report assessment tool to euthymic outpatients with BD attending a university based hospital clinic. Of the 155 eligible participants, 112 completed a standardized psychiatric interview (SADS-L) and 87 of these met study criteria for euthymia and were approached to participate in the study. Sixty-eight completed self-report measures were returned. The main outcome measure was the Illness Intrusiveness Rating Scale (IIRS) which was analysed along with a composite measure of life events. It resulted that individuals' with BD experience significant illness intrusiveness into a number of life domains even after controlling for negative life events. Factors such as type of BD, the presence of a depressive episode in the preceding year and current Hamilton depression rating scale score contributed to the total illness intrusiveness. The degree of total illness intrusiveness experienced by individuals with BD was similar to that of subjects with multiple sclerosis and greater than subjects with end stage renal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It seems apparent that quality of life, as determined by illness intrusiveness, is compromised in subjects with BD even during periods of euthymia. BD is at least as intrusive as several chronic medical conditions. Those with a type II BD report greater impairment in all domains compared with type I. Future research should determine specific psychosocial interventions aimed at reducing the impact of BD.
This article was published in J Psychiatr Res
and referenced in Journal of Sleep Disorders & Therapy