Psychosocial predictors of major affective recurrences in bipolar disorder: A 4-year longitudinal study of patients on prophylactic treatment
A total of 21 recovered bipolar patients on prophylactic treatment were prospectively followed up for a period of 1 year. Data for major recurrences were retrospectively collected for an additional 3-year period. During the entire 4-year period, over half of the patients (52%) had no major affective recurrences. Eight patients experienced a major depressive episode, while only two experienced a manic one. Psychosocial and clinical variables were assessed at entry to the study. The effect of these variables on the subsequent 4-year illness course was analysed using survivorship curves. The results show that the following psychosocial variables significantly predicted the occurrence of a major affective episode: low level of social support, maladjustment in social and leisure activities, and poor quality of relationships with extended family. In contrast, clinical variables which characterize illness history were not significantly associated with major recurrences.
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