Employment outcomes in people with bipolar disorder: A systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Warwick Medical School
  • Early intervention in psychosis service
  • Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust
  • NHS Lanarkshire

Abstract

Objective: Employment outcome in bipolar disorder is an under investigated, but important area. The aim of this study was to identify the long-term employment outcomes of people with bipolar disorder. Method: A systematic review using the Medline, PsychInfo and Web of Science databases. Results: Of 1962 abstracts retrieved, 151 full text papers were read. Data were extracted from 25 papers representing a sample of 4892 people with bipolar disorder and a mean length of follow-up of 4.9 years. Seventeen studies had follow-up periods of up to 4 years and eight follow-up of 5-15 years. Most studies with samples of people with established bipolar disorder suggest approximately 40-60% of people are in employment. Studies using work functioning measures mirrored this result. Bipolar disorder appears to lead to workplace underperformance and 40-50% of people may suffer a slide in their occupational status over time. Employment levels in early bipolar disorder were higher than in more established illness. Conclusion: Bipolar disorder damages employment outcome in the longer term, but up to 60% of people may be in employment. Whilst further studies are necessary, the current evidence provides support for extending the early intervention paradigm to bipolar disorder.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-193
Number of pages15
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume128
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder, Employment, Outcome, Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas