Background Premorbid characteristics may help predict the highly variable functional and illness outcomes of young people with early stage Bipolar Disorder (BD). We sought to examine the relationships between premorbid adjustment and short to medium-term outcomes after a first treated episode of mania. Methods We examined the baseline and 18-month follow-up characteristics of 117 participants with first episode of mania, treated at two tertiary early intervention services in Melbourne, Australia. The baseline demographic, family history, diagnoses, comorbidity and clinical features were determined using unstructured questionnaires and structured diagnostic interviews. Premorbid adjustment was determined using the Premorbid Adjustment Scale (PAS), the components of which were identified using a principal component analysis. Eighteen-month follow-up outcome measures included the Clinical Global Impressions scale, Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale and the Heinrichs’ Quality of Life Scale (QLS). Correlations and linear regressions were utilised to examine the relationships between component scores and outcomes, while controlling for baseline and follow-up confounders. Results The social adjustment component of the PAS correlated with the interpersonal relations (rs = −0.46, p<0.001) domain of QLS while the academic adjustment component of the PAS correlated with the vocational functioning domain of QLS (rs =−0.39, p = 0.004). Premorbid adjustment did not predict illness severity or objective functioning. Limitations Lack of information on cognition, personality factors and prodromal symptoms limited the assessment of their impact on outcomes. Conclusions Impairments in domains of premorbid adjustment may be early markers of persistent difficulties in social and vocational functioning and may benefit from targeted interventions.
- Premorbid adjustment
- Psychotic mania