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Article   |    
Symptoms and Functioning of Patients With Bipolar Disorder Six Months After Hospitalization
George L Dion; Mauricio Tohen; William A. Anthony; Christine S. Waternaux
Psychiatric Services 1988; doi:
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The authors thank Joseph Lipinski, M.D., director of the Mental Health Clinical Research Center of McLean Hospital and support staff from the Mailman Research Center and McLean Hospital. They acknowledge the efforts of Mollie Grob of McLean Hospital in the collection of follow-up data.

University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester (Mass.) State Hospital

Mailman Research Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts

Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University

Department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

American Psychiatric Association

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The relationship between symptoms and functioning of patients with bipolar disorder who were hospitalized for a manic episode was examined in a prospective study. At six-month follow-up, symptomatic outcome was clearly superior to functional outcome. Almost 80 percent of patients were symptom free or mildly symptomatic. However, only 43 percent of patients were employed, and only 21 percent were working at their expected level of employment. Thirty percent were rated as being unable to work. Additional analyses showed that 64 percent of the first-admission subjects were employed at some level at follow-up, compared with only 33 percent of subjects with multiple admissions. The results suggest that factors other than symptoms are related to the functioning of patients with bipolar disorder and that treatment should be targeted to the patient's disability as well to symptom amelioration.

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