Clinical impact of late diagnose of bipolar disorder
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BACKGROUND: This study assessed the impact of number of years undiagnosed (NYU) on current morbidity in patients with bipolar disorder. LIMITATIONS: The sample size used was rather small, which may make difficult the generalization of our findings to larger datasets. The data about age of onset and age when patients received their diagnosis may present a certain degree of recall error. METHOD: Sixty-five bipolar outpatients diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM were included. The main outcome measurements were quality of life (QOL) assessed using the 26-item World Health Organization QOL instrument (WHOQOL-Bref) and depression assessed using the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). RESULTS: Age of onset and years of disorder were not correlated with the outcomes assessed. The NYU were associated with higher scores of HDRS (P<0.01), lower scores of QOL within the physical (p<0.01) and psychological (p<0.05) domains of QOL. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that the NYU may be an important predictor of the current clinical status of bipolar patients.
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