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The aim of this research, which represents an additional and longer follow-up to a previous trial, was to evaluate a 5-year follow-up study of a combined treatment (pharmacological + psychoeducational and cognitive-behavioral therapy) as compared with a standard pharmacological treatment in patients with refractory bipolar disorder.
Forty patients were randomly assigned to either an Experimental group–under combined treatment — or a Control group — under pharmacological treatment. Data were analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA), with repeated measures at different evaluation time points.
Between-group differences were significant at all evaluation time points after treatment. Experimental group had less hospitalization events than Control group in the 12-month evaluation (P = 0.015). The Experimental group showed lower depression and anxiety in the 6-month (P = 0.006; P = 0.019), 12-month (P = 0.001; P < 0.001) and 5-year (P < 0.001, P < 0.001) evaluation time points. Significant differences emerged in mania and misadjustment already in the post-treatment evaluation (P = 0.009; P < 0.001) and were sustained throughout the study (6-month: P = 0.006, P < 0.001; 12-month: P < 0.001, P < 0.001; 5-year: P = 0.004, P < 0.001). After 5-year follow-up, 88.9% of patients in the Control group and 20% of patients in the Experimental group showed persistent affective symptoms and/or difficulties in social-occupational functioning.
A combined therapy is long-term effective for patients with refractory bipolar disorder. Suggestions for future research are commented.
Social cognition has been associated with functional outcome in patients with first episode psychosis (FEP). Social cognition has also been associated with neurocognition and cognitive reserve. Although cognitive reserve, neurocognitive functioning, social cognition, and functional outcome are related, the direction of their associations is not clear. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to analyze the influence of social cognition as a mediator between cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning in FEP both at baseline and at 2 years.
The sample of the study was composed of 282 FEP patients followed up for 2 years. To analyze whether social cognition mediates the influence of cognitive reserve and cognitive domains on functioning, a path analysis was performed. The statistical significance of any mediation effects was evaluated by bootstrap analysis.
At baseline, as neither cognitive reserve nor the cognitive domains studied were related to functioning, the conditions for mediation were not satisfied. Nevertheless, at 2 years of follow-up, social cognition acted as a mediator between cognitive reserve and functioning. Likewise, social cognition was a mediator between verbal memory and functional outcome. The results of the bootstrap analysis confirmed these significant mediations (95% bootstrapped CI (−10.215 to −0.337) and (−4.731 to −0.605) respectively).
Cognitive reserve and neurocognition are related to functioning, and social cognition mediates in this relationship.
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