Psychosocial functioning amon bipolar 1 disorder patients in remission phases as seen in mulago and butabika hospitals in uganda.
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INTRODUCTION: Bipolar disorder is a common lifelong psychiatric illness, which may carry severe impairment of patients’ general functioning. In 1990, the world health organisation reported that bipolar disorder is the 6th leading cause of worldwide disability. Bipolar patients are 4 times more common disabled than the general population. It is associated with a greater degree of disability than a number of prominent chronic medical conditions including HIV and Diabetes. Whereas many studies have been done concerning characteristic symptoms of bipolar disorder, there is limited information concerning functional outcome. In fact, no such studies have been in Uganda. OBJECTIVE: The study aimed at determining the level of psychosocial functioning among bipolar disorder patients as seen in mulago and butabika hospitals. METHODOLOGY: It was a cross sectional descriptive study with an analytical component. One hundred seventy one patients with bipolar disorder were recruited consecutively from mental health clinics in mulago and butabika hospitals. Their socio-demographic characteristics were obtained using the socio demographic questionnaire while the bipolar status was evaluated using affective disorder evaluation questionnaire. Psychosocial functioning was determined using the work and social adjustment scale. Data was analyzed using SPSS computer programme. RESULTS: Out of the 171 participants, 50.3% were male and 49.1% female. More than half (59.1%) were single. Over 60% had no formal employment and 50.9% were living in a rural environment. Most of the participants (68%) had impairment in functioning. The areas most affected were the ability to form and maintain relationships and the ability to enjoy social leisure activities. Young age of onset, long duration of illness, being single, unemployed and rural residence was associated with impairment in functioning. CONCLUSION: Bipolar disorder was associated with impairment functioning even during remission. There is need to go beyond pharmacological treatment and control of symptoms and put more emphasis on psychosocial and rehabilitative interventions.