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J Affect Disord. 2001 Dec;67(1-3):89-96.

Toward a refined phenomenology of mania: combining clinician-assessment and self-report in the French EPIMAN study.

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International Mood Center, University of California at San Diego, VA Psychiatry Service (116A), 3350 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego, CA 92161, USA.



Because manic patients lack insight, they are generally considered unreliable observers of their own psychopathology. The present analyses sought to examine to what extent patient reports could improve formal diagnostic criteria for mania--and be validated against the Carroll-Klein (CK) psychobiological model of bipolarity.


104 DSM-IV acutely manic (hospitalized) patients provided self-assessment on the Ahearn--Carroll scale, the Multiple Visual Analogue Scales of Bipolarity (MVAS-BP). A principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on MVAS-BP, and the data on factorial scores were then compared to dimensional scores according to the CK model and to factors on the Beigel-Murphy Manic State Rating Scale (MSRS) completed by psychiatrists.


The PCA identified a general factor accounting for 33% of the total variance; after varimax rotation, seven independent factors emerged, essentially in coherence with the signs and symptoms of DSM-IV mania, except for the 'social disinhibition' factor, which does not figure out as a distinct criterion in DSM-IV. Strong correlations were obtained (r > or = 0.80) between the four major factors of MVAS-BP and the four dimensional categories of the CK model: 'Consummatory Reward' with F1 'Elation and Inflated Self-esteem' (r=0.93), 'Incentive Reward' with F2 'Activation' (r=0.84), 'Psychomotor Pressure' with F3 'Acceleration' (r=0.85), and 'Central Pain' with F4 'Anxiety-Depression' (r=0.84). The F2 'Activation' appeared to be strongly correlated (r > or = 0.70) to all categories of the CK model. Correlational analysis between the factor structure of MVAS-BP and the MSRS showed significant coefficients on the scores assessing the emotional factors of 'Elation' and 'Depression.' Among the MVAS-BP factors, only 'Activation' was correlated to the majority of clinician ratings as obtained by the MSRS.


These findings provide overall construct validity to the DSM-IV criteria for mania. Self-assessment of this disorder appears feasible and potentially useful in practice; lack of insight, poor judgment, and distractibility obviously require assessment by a clinician. Although our data are correlational and require prospective validation, they nonetheless suggest that (1) activation should be raised to the status of the stem criterion for mania, (2) to specify mood as elated, depressive, anxious, or irritable, and (3) to give individual status to social disinhibition (indiscriminate gregariousness) as a core pathological behavior in mania. Combining clinician- and self-observation thus produces a more precise and complete phenomenology of mania. We finally submit that the foregoing reformulation provides a psychobiological basis to the manic construct as formulated in the Carroll-Klein model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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