Relationship of the Brief UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA-B) to multiple indicators of functioning in people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Bipolar Disord. 2010 Feb;12(1):45-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2009.00787.x.


Objective: This study assessed the relationship between multiple indicators of 'real-world' functioning and scores on a brief performance-based measure of functional capacity known as the Brief University of California San Diego (UCSD) Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA-B) in a sample of 205 patients with either serious bipolar disorder (n = 89) or schizophrenia (n = 116).

Methods: Participants were administered the UPSA-B and assessed on the following functional domains: (i) independent living status (e.g., residing independently as head of household, living in residential care facility); (ii) informant reports of functioning (e.g., work skills, daily living skills); (iii) educational attainment and estimated premorbid IQ as measured by years of education and Wide Range Achievement Test reading scores, respectively; and (iv) employment.

Results: Better scores on the UPSA-B were associated with greater residential independence after controlling for age, diagnosis, and symptoms of psychopathology. Among both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia patients, higher UPSA-B scores were significantly related to better informant reports of functioning in daily living skills and work skills domains. Greater estimated premorbid IQ was associated with higher scores on the UPSA-B for both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder participants. Participants who were employed scored higher on the UPSA-B when controlling for age and diagnosis, but not when controlling for symptoms of psychopathology.

Conclusions: These data suggest the UPSA-B may be useful for assessing capacity for functioning in a number of domains in both people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Quality of Life
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Social Behavior
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis