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Psychiatry Res. 2011 Feb 28;185(3):353-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2010.06.010. Epub 2010 Jul 31.

Ecologically valid support for the link between cognitive and psychosocial functioning in bipolar disorder.

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  • 1Mental Health Counseling, University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA USA.


Prior research into the link between cognitive and psychosocial functioning in bipolar disorder has examined primarily asymptomatic patients, has measured these domains concurrently, and has failed to establish convergent validity in the assessment of psychosocial dysfunction. The present study examines the relation between cognitive and psychosocial functioning at the time of discharge from hospitalization for acute mood disturbance. We obtained measures of psychosocial functioning that were both close and distant to the time of neuropsychological testing; the former from the discharging psychiatrists, and the latter from reports of formally recognized disability status, determined by persons wholly unrelated to the present research. Sixty-three patients with bipolar I disorder, hospitalized for acute mood disturbance, completed a neuropsychological test battery 24 to 48 h prior to discharge. We compared patients with versus without formal disability status on the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale and on scores of neuropsychological tests. We also tested associations between GAF scores and cognitive test scores. Results supported the convergent validity in the measurement of psychosocial disability, underscored the robust connection between cognitive and psychosocial impairment, and highlighted the presence of this connection during an important clinical state - time of discharge from psychiatric hospitalization.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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