Symptoms, course of Illness, and comorbidity as predictors of expressed emotion in bipolar disorder.

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Symptoms, course of Illness, and comorbidity as predictors of expressed emotion in bipolar disorder.

Psychiatry Res. 2019 Mar 30;276:12-17

Authors: Lex C, Hautzinger M, Meyer TD

Abstract
High levels of expressed emotions (EE) reflect the amount of criticism and/or over-involvement in families and has been linked to relapse risk in various psychiatric disorders including bipolar disorder (BD). Less clear is which factors contribute to the development and/or maintenance of EE. Therefore, we tested whether patient characteristics, specifically clinical features and personality disorder traits in BD predicted key aspects of EE as assessed by patients and their relatives. Patients with remitted BD and their relatives were asked to complete the Family Attitude Scale (FAS) and the Perceived Criticism Measure (PCM). Patient characteristics were assessed with a variety of measures including SCID I and II. The FAS and PCM shared 25% of the variance for patients and 14% for relatives, suggesting a conceptual overlap, but they may not assess identical constructs. The number of previous mood episodes, current self-rated manic symptoms, and comorbid symptoms of Cluster C personality disorder predicted patient-rated FAS. Relative-rated FAS was only predicted by comorbid symptoms of Cluster A personality disorder. In BD, specific patient characteristics seem to be linked to key aspects of EE even when in remission. However, it might depend whether the patient, his/her relative, or a neutral observer assessed EE.

PMID: 30981096 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]