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J Nerv Ment Dis. 2013 May;201(5):377-83. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31828e1041.

Concordance between patient and family reports of family functioning in bipolar I disorder and major depressive disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Psychosocial Research Program, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI 02906, USA.


Despite the extensive literature on family functioning and mood disorders, less is known about concordance between patient- and family-reported family functioning. To address this question, adults with bipolar I disorder (BD; n = 92) or major depressive disorder (MDD; n = 121) and their family members (n = 135 and 201, respectively) were recruited from hospital sources. All patients and their family members completed the Family Assessment Device (Epstein, Baldwin, Bishop. J Marital Fam Ther. 9:171-180, 1983). Intraclass correlation coefficients revealed that, in contrast to the moderate degree of concordance in the MDD sample, degree of concordance between patient- and family-reported family functioning was significantly weaker in BD. Subsequent analysis revealed that this discordance was driven by the reports of the child and young adolescent family members of the patients with BD. Results highlight the importance of collateral reports in the assessment of family functioning, especially among families of patients with BD, in research and treatment.

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