Functioning and disability in bipolar disorders: a systematic review of literature using the ICF as a reference

Bipolar Disord. 2010 Aug;12(5):473-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2010.00833.x.


Objectives: To systematically identify and examine the frequency of use of concepts contained in outcome variables across bipolar disorder (BD) studies using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a reference.

Methods: Original studies published between 2000 and 2006 were located on the MEDLINE and PsycINFO databases and selected according to predetermined criteria. Outcome variables were extracted, and concepts contained therein were linked to the ICF.

Results: A total of 109 final studies were included. The concepts contained in these studies were linked to 145 different ICF categories. ICF category b152, emotional functions, was the most frequently represented category, appearing in 94% of the publications, followed by b126, temperament and personality functions (73%). E110, products or substances for personal consumption, and e580, health services, systems, and policies, appeared in 68% of the studies.

Conclusions: The present systematic review reflects the research focus of the literature on BD in recent years. Most of the studies performed concentrate on body functions rather than activities and participation domains. Experimental studies are mostly pharmacological, reflecting the need to study nonpharmacological interventions. Furthermore, our study shows that outcome variables used in studies with persons with BD can, to a large extent, be mapped to the ICF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Bipolar Disorder / classification
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / therapy
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons / classification
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Treatment Outcome