This study aims to assess the neuropsychological performance, quality of life (QoL) and global functioning in euthymic patients and healthy controls. It also explores the hypothesis that poorer cognitive performance will adversely influence the QoL of patients with bipolar disorder.Methods:
We carried out a cross-sectional assessment of 30 euthymic patients with bipolar disorder type I and compared them to a healthy control group. All the participants were evaluated for IQ, sustained attention, information processing speed, executive functions and memory using the Verbal Adult Intelligence Scale, the Trail Making Test A & B, the Stroop Color and Word Test, the N-Back test and Postgraduate Institute Memory Scale. Patients were also rated on World Health Organization QoL (BREF, Hindi version) and Global Assessment of Functioning.Results:
The patient and control group were comparable in age, sex distribution, education, and verbal IQ. Compared to controls, the patients performed poorly on tests for sustained attention, information processing speed, cognitive flexibility, delayed recall and verbal retention. Patients had significantly lower scores in psychological and social domains of QoL as well as global functioning. The test for sustained attention, executive functions and verbal retention showed a significant correlation to QoL domains. On stepwise multiple regression, cognitive flexibility and set shifting (Trail Making Test Part B) could significantly predict the psychological and social QoL domains, explaining 17% and 32% of the variance, respectively.Conclusion:
Patients with bipolar disorder display cognitive impairments in the euthymic period, which appears to adversely affect their QoL and overall functioning.