Burden of bipolar depression: impact of disorder and medications on quality of life.

Division of Mood Disorders, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
CNS Drugs (Impact Factor: 4.38). 02/2008; 22(5):389-406.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bipolar disorder is a complex, chronic psychiatric condition characterized by recurring episodes of depressive illness and mania or hypomania. Although the manic or hypomanic episodes define the disorder, recent research has shown that depressive symptoms predominate over manic symptoms in the majority of patients, and that bipolar depression accounts for much of the significant morbidity and mortality associated with bipolar disorder. Given these findings, there has been a recent upsurge of interest in furthering our understanding of the burden of depression in bipolar disorder. At the same time, increasing scientific attention is now being paid to expanding the measurement of outcome in bipolar disorder to encompass broader indicators of response, one of which is the assessment of quality of life (QOL). In this review, we provide a summary of the current knowledge about QOL in the depressive phase of bipolar disorder, and the effects of pharmacological treatment interventions for bipolar disorder upon QOL. It appears that QOL is poorer in bipolar disorder than in other mood disorders and anxiety disorders, but that schizophrenia might compromise QOL more severely than bipolar disorder. Existing data also suggest that, for patients with bipolar disorder, QOL is negatively associated with depression, both as a cross-sectional mood state and perhaps also as a feature of the patient's course. Despite its clinical and public health importance, bipolar depression has only recently started to receive the attention it warrants in clinical trials, and many important questions about its optimal pharmacological management remain to be answered. There is also a paucity of information about the impact of pharmacological interventions on QOL in bipolar depression. To our knowledge, only two clinical trials to date have specifically examined the impact of medications on QOL in patients with bipolar depression. A small number of other studies have examined the effects of depressive symptoms on QOL in patients who are experiencing manic or mixed episodes. Nonetheless, QOL appears to be a meaningful and important indicator of outcome and recovery in this patient population, and one that warrants further scientific interest and energy.

Download full-text


Available from: Raymond W. Lam, Jun 22, 2015
1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Comprehensively review studies evaluating factors associated with adherence to treatment in bipolar disorder (BD), as well as the results of interventions developed to enhance adherence in this population. METHODS: The following search engines were consulted: PubMed, Scielo, LILACS and PsycINFO. The keywords used were "Bipolar Disorder", "Factor", "Adherence", "Nonadherence", "Compliance" and "Intervention". In addition, references list of selected studies were consulted searching for relevant articles. RESULTS: Adherence has been defined in various ways, with some considering adherence vs. nonadherence, and other including a "partial" adherence measure. In addition, methods to assess adherence differ for each study. Several factors were related to poor adherence, including patient-related factors (e.g. younger age, male gender, low level of education, alcohol and drugs comorbidity), disorder-related factors (e.g. younger age of onset, severity of BD, insight and lack of awareness of illness) and treatment-related factors (e.g. side effects of medications, effectiveness). To improve adherence, the main recommendations are to provide customized interventions focusing on the underlying causes of nonadherence, strong therapeutic alliance and different modalities based on psychoeducation. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that nonadherence is a multicausal phenomenon and strategies to prevent and approaches them must include enhanced therapeutic alliance, flexible topics, early intervention, group setting, and psychoeducation. LIMITATIONS: Different definitions and measures of adherence in the literature currently moderate the generalization of the findings in this review. Further studies are necessary regarding factors of adherence in BD and interventions to improve it, especially on social factors like stigma and family.
    Journal of Affective Disorders 03/2013; 149(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.036 · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Evidence has suggested a role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the pathogenesis of bipolar disorder (BD). Recent studies have examined BDNF levels in BD patients, but showed inconsistent results. In current study, meta-analyses by random-effects model were performed to compare blood BDNF levels between BD patients and healthy controls, and examine patients based on different affective status (manic, depressed, or euthymic state). Fifteen studies from 10 citations were included into the analysis. Pooling of results from all studies indicated that, overall, patients with BD had a lower level of BDNF than healthy controls (p=1x10(-4)). But when separating these studies based on different affective status, it showed that the significance existed only when comparing patients in manic (p=0.0008) or depressed (p=0.02) state with controls, but not in euthymic state (p=0.25). In addition, BDNF level was significantly increased after pharmacological treatment of manic state (p=0.01). These findings indicate that BDNF levels are abnormally reduced in manic and depressed states of BD, and the reduced level in manic state increases after treatment. They suggest a role of blood BDNF level as a state-dependent biomarker of bipolar disorder.
    Neuroscience Letters 09/2009; 466(3):139-43. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2009.09.044 · 2.06 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Assessing quality of life (QoL) as a patient-reported outcome in adult psychiatry poses challenges in terms of concepts, methods, and applications in research and practice. This review will outline conceptually the construct of QoL, its dimensionality, and its representation across patient groups. Methodological challenges are examined, along with principles of QoL instrument development and testing, as well as across cultures. Application of instruments in epidemiological, clinical health economics, and health services research is reviewed based on pertinent literature. Validated measures for depression, psychosis, and anxiety disorders are available in adult psychiatry, and are increasingly used in research. Still, targeted measures are lacking for many mental health conditions and only rarely are tools applied in the practice context. Progress has been made in the development of instruments that are now ready for implementation. The information to be gained is valuable for identifying patient-reported needs for and benefits of treatment.
    Dialogues in clinical neuroscience 06/2014; 16(2):137-45.