HealthDay News — Youth with bipolar disorder (BD) rate their quality of life (QoL) worse than healthy youth, youth with chronic medical conditions, and youth with certain psychiatric disorders, according to a study published online in Bipolar Disorders.

Kayla R. McGinty, from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and colleagues examined the relative impacts of depressive, (hypo)manic, mixed, and externalizing symptoms on QoL bin 657 youth with BD. The Revised Children Quality of Life Questionnaire (KINDL) was used to determine youth-reported QoL, which was then compared to that of healthy youth, youth with chronic medical conditions, and youth with other psychiatric disorders.

The researchers found that compared with healthy youth, youth with chronic medical conditions, youth with behavior disorders, and youth with other nonbehavior/nonmood disorders, youth with BD reported poorer QoL overall and on most subscales. There was no significant difference observed in QoL for youth with BD and youth with unipolar depression. There were associations seen for parent-report and interview-rated depressive symptoms with decreases in total QoL and all QoL subscales except Family. Associations were also seen for externalizing symptoms with decreases in Family QoL and increases in Friend QoL and for (hypo)manic symptoms with increases in Emotional Well-Being QoL.


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“The current study’s contribution to our understanding of the ways in which QoL is impaired by the various symptoms present in youth with BD (ie, depressive, manic, mixed, and externalizing symptoms) and from a self-report perspective can help inform mechanistically sound interventions and advance treatment for youth with BD,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one disclosed ties to the publishing industry.

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