Is it possible to assess subjective well-being among bipolar inpatients? An 18-week follow-up study

Gen Hosp Psychiatry. Mar-Apr 2011;33(2):185-90. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2011.01.003. Epub 2011 Feb 12.


Objective: The study evaluates the association between subjective well-being and psychopathology in bipolar inpatients at the time of hospitalization and during a follow-up period.

Method: One hundred twenty consecutive inpatients with a diagnosis of bipolar affective disorder were studied on admission (T0), at discharge (T1) and every 6 weeks for 18 weeks after hospitalization. The Young's Mania Rating Scale (YMRS) and the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D) were used to determine affective symptoms, while subjective well-being was assessed by subjective well-being under neuroleptic (SWN). Associations between SWN and HAM-D or YMRS scores and between their changes were analyzed across the different time points by using Pearson correlation coefficients. Linear regression models were constructed using SWN as the dependent variable and demographic and clinical characteristics as possible predictors.

Results: At baseline, depression explained 24% and mania explained an additional 16% of baseline SWN variance. Changes in SWN and HAM-D total score displayed an inverse correlation during hospitalization and follow-up. End point severity of depression was associated with the end point SWN total score explaining additional 26% of SWN total score variance, whereas severity of mania was inversely associated with SWN total score.

Conclusion: Data of this study provide further support for the need to consider the subjective well-being as a personal variable associated to psychopathological state in bipolar patients. However, results seem to be in line with authors who suggest to use other subjective quality of life scales in acute mania.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life