Predictors of psychosocial outcome of bipolar disorder: data from the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network

Francis Bennett, Sophie Hodgetts, Andrew Close, Mark Frye, Heinz Grunze, Paul Keck, Ralph Kupka, Susan McElroy, Willem Nolen, Robert Post, Lars Schärer, Trisha Suppes, Aditya N. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Impairments in psychosocial functioning have been demonstrated in 30–60% of adults with bipolar disorder (BD). However, the majority of studies investigating the effect of comorbid mental health disorders and age at onset outcomes in BD have focused on traditional outcome measures such as mood symptoms, mortality and treatment response. Therefore, this project aimed to investigate the impact of comorbid mental health disorders and age at onset on longitudinal psychosocial outcome in participants with BD. Method: Mixed effects modelling was conducted using data from the Stanley Foundation Bipolar Network. Baseline factors were entered into a model, with Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score as the longitudinal outcome measure. Relative model fits were calculated using Akaike’s Information Criterion. Results: No individual comorbidities predicted lower GAF scores, however an interaction effect was demonstrated between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and any anxiety disorder (t = 2.180, p = 0.030). Participants with BD I vs BD II (t = 2.023, p = 0.044) and those in the lowest vs. highest income class (t = 2.266, p = 0.024) predicted lower GAF scores. Age at onset (t = 1.672, p = 0.095) did not significantly predict GAF scores. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate the negative psychosocial effects of comorbid anxiety disorders and ADHD in BD. This study adds to the growing database suggesting that comorbid mental health disorders are a significant factor hindering psychosocial recovery.
Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalInternational Journal of Bipolar Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this