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Qual Life Res. 2001;10(2):105-15.

A review of the health-related quality of life literature in bipolar disorder.

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Lilly Research Laboratories, Eli Lilly & Co, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


This paper reviews the existing literature on health-related quality of life assessments conducted in bipolar disorder patients, and provides recommendations for the use of specific scales to measure health-related quality of life in this population. A comprehensive review of the literature revealed only a handful of studies in bipolar disorder that had incorporated quality of life assessments. While instruments from the medical outcomes study (MOS) were the most frequently used to measure health-related quality of life, a number of other instruments like the psychological general well being scale (PGWB), the streamlined longitudinal interview clinical evaluation from the longitudinal interval follow-up evaluation (SLICE/LIFE), the Euroqol, (EQ-5D), the Lehman's quality of life interview (QLI), and the quality of life in depression scale (QLDS) were also used. Only three studies out of ten reported the psychometric properties of the measures used. In the absence of a disease-targeted measure, a combination of the SF-36 and the PGWB is presently recommended as the battery of choice to assess the health-related quality of life of individuals with bipolar disorder. There is also the need to develop a disease-targeted health-related quality of life measure for bipolar disorder, which will obviate the use of a burdensome battery of generic quality of life instruments.

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