Psychosocial functioning in patients with psychotic and non-psychotic bipolar I disorder. A comparative study with individuals with schizophrenia
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Background More than 50% of individuals with bipolar disorder (BD) do not reach full psychosocial functioning, even during periods of euthymia. It has been suggested that history of psychotic symptoms is one of the factors which are associated with a worse functional outcome. The objective was to compare psychosocial functioning between patients with BD, with (BD-P), and without (BD-NP) a history of psychotic symptoms, and to examine whether the history of psychotic symptoms, or other clinical or neurocognitive variables predict psychosocial functioning. Methods Psychosocial functioning and neurocognition were examined in 100 euthymic patients with bipolar I disorder (50 BD-P, and 50 BD-NP), compared to 50 stabilised patients with schizophrenia (SZ), and 51 healthy controls (HC). Results 1) There were no differences between BD-P and BD-NP in the GAF-F score or in the FAST total score. 2) The two groups of patients with BD had better scores than SZ both in the GAF-F, and in all measures of the FAST, except for the subscale leisure time. 3) The neurocognitive composite index, verbal memory and subclinical depressive symptoms were the variables which explained a higher percentage of the variance of functional outcome. Limitations The cross-sectional design, and the relatively small sample size are the main limitations. Conclusions A history of psychotic symptoms has no relevant impact on the level of psychosocial functioning in BD. Neurocognitive dysfunction and subclinical depressive symptoms are the variables that best explain the functional impairment. These findings have important clinical implications. © 2018 Elsevier B.V.
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