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The association between mixed symptoms, irritability and functioning measured using smartphones in bipolar disorder

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OBJECTIVE: To (i) validate patient-evaluated mixed symptoms and irritability measured using smartphones against clinical evaluations; (ii) investigate associations between mixed symptoms and irritability with stress, quality of life and functioning, respectively, in patients with bipolar disorder.

METHODS: A total of 84 patients with bipolar disorder used a smartphone-based system for daily evaluation of mixed symptoms and irritability for nine months. Clinically evaluated symptoms, stress, quality of life and clinically rated functioning were collected multiple times during follow-up.

RESULTS: Patients presented mild affective symptoms. Patient-reported mixed symptoms and irritability correlated with clinical evaluations. In analyses including confounding factors there was a statistically significant association between both mixed symptoms and irritability and stress (P < 0.0001) and between irritability and both quality of life and functioning (P < 0.0001) respectively. There was no association between mixed mood and both quality of life and functioning.

CONCLUSION: Mixed symptoms and irritability can be validly self-reported using smartphones in patients with bipolar disorder. Mixed symptoms and irritability are associated with increased stress even during full or partial remission. Irritability is associated with decreased quality of life and functioning. The findings emphasize the clinical importance of identifying inter-episodic symptoms including irritability pointing towards smartphones as a valid tool.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume139
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)443-453
Number of pages11
ISSN0001-690X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

ID: 58079231