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Functional Outcome in the Middle Course of Bipolar Disorder: A Longitudinal Study

Martino, Diego J. MD, MSc, PhD; Igoa, Ana MD; Scápola, María PsyD; Marengo, Eliana MD; Samamé, Cecilia PsyD; Strejilevich, Sergio A. MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: March 2017 - Volume 205 - Issue 3 - p 203–206
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000583
Brief Report

The aim of this study was to assess the long-term functional outcome of patients with bipolar disorder (BD). At baseline and after a follow-up period of at least 48 months, three measures of functioning were administered: psychosocial functioning (GAF), employment status (full-time, part-time, and unemployment/disability), and a self-reported measure of functional recovery. At baseline, patients with more than five previous affective episodes exhibited poorer outcomes on all measures of functioning than patients with less than five previous episodes. However, along a mean follow-up period of 77 months, measures of functioning tended to remain stable or improved slightly. These results highlight the limitation of studies comparing measures of functioning between patients with many and few episodes to evaluate functional outcome. Likewise, these preliminary results do not support the hypothesis that functional outcome deteriorates over the course of BD.

*Bipolar Disorder Program, Neuroscience Institute, Favaloro University, Buenos Aires; †National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), Buenos Aires; and ‡Institute of Cognitive Neurology (INECO), Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Send reprint requests to Diego J. Martino, MD, MSc, PhD, Gurruchaga 2463, 1°″C″ (C1425FEK), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina. E-mail:

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