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A cross-sectional comparative study of functioning in patients with bipolar depression and patients with unipolar depression

Aftab Ahmed Khan, Swapnil Agrawal, Savita Patel, Rahila Qureshi.


Background: Bipolar affective disorder is an episodic illness in which patient suffers from unexpected change in affect like elated mood episode (mania) followed by either depressed mood with period of inter episode euthymia. The disease in comparison to unipolar depression starts in early thirties, more severe symptoms and with more detriment in functioning and wellbeing.

Aim and Objectives: The present study asses the level of global functioning of bipolar depressive patients in different domains and data compared with unipolar depressive patients.

Materials and Methods: This study was done at a tertiary center in India. The study included 30 patients with bipolar depression in study group and 30 patients with unipolar depression included in control group. In all the patients of both groups, relevant scales, that is, back depression inventory and global assessment of functioning (GAF) were applied. These data were statistically analyzed by SPSS software.

Results: On Comparison of global assessment of functioning scores between both groups the GAF score in bipolar depressive patients (SD ± 50.03 [4.75]) had significantly lower score as compared to unipolar depressive patients (62.37 [SD ± 11.50]), also patients show significant negative correlation. (−0.559) of GAF score and total Beck Depression Inventory score in case group (bipolar depressive patients).

Conclusion: These findings of greater impairment in global functioning may be interpreted by understanding that life of patients with bipolar depression also complicated by having episode or episodes of manic symptoms in addition to their depressive episodes while patients with unipolar depression are experiencing depressive episodes only.

Key words: Functioning; Bipolar Affective Disorder; Depression

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