Publications by authors named "Kirsi Suominen"

94 Publications

Predominant polarity in bipolar I and II disorders: A five-year follow-up study.

J Affect Disord 2019 03 25;246:806-813. Epub 2018 Dec 25.

Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki, Finland; National Institute of Health and Welfare, Mental Health Unit, Helsinki, Finland; University of Helsinki, Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Background: Patients with bipolar disorder (BD) differ in their relative predominance of types of episodes, yielding predominant polarity, which has important treatment implications. However, few prospective studies of predominant polarity exist.

Methods: In the Jorvi Bipolar Study (JoBS), a regionally representative cohort of 191 BD I and BD II in- and outpatients was followed for five years using life-chart methodology. Differences between depressive (DP), manic (MP), and no predominant polarity (NP) groups were examined regarding time ill, incidence of suicide attempts, and comorbidity.

Results: At baseline, 16% of patients had MP, 36% DP, and 48% NP. During the follow-up the MP group spent significantly more time euthymic, less time in major depressive episodes, and more time in manic states than the DP and NP groups. The MP group had significantly lower incidence of suicide attempts than the DP and NP group, lower prevalence of comorbid anxiety disorders but more psychotic symptoms lifetime and more often (hypo)manic first phase of the illness than the DP group. Classification of predominant polarity was influenced by the timeframe used.

Limitations: The retrospective counting of former phases is vulnerable to recall bias. Assignment of dominant polarity may necessitate a sufficient number of illness phases.

Conclusions: Predominant polarity has predictive value in predicting group differences in course of illness, but individual patients' classification may change over time. Patients with manic polarity may represent a more distinct subgroup than the two others regarding illness course, suicide attempts, and psychiatric comorbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.12.093DOI Listing
March 2019

Self-reported treatment adherence among psychiatric in- and outpatients.

Nord J Psychiatry 2018 Oct 16;72(7):526-533. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

d Department of Psychiatry , Institute of Clinical Medicine , Helsinki , Finland.

Background: Poor adherence to psychiatric treatment is a common clinical problem, leading to unfavourable treatment outcome and increased healthcare costs.

Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate the self-reported adherence and attitudes to outpatient visits and pharmacotherapy in specialized care psychiatric patients.

Methods: Within the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium (HUPC) pilot study, in- and outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (SSA, n  =  113), bipolar disorder (BD, n  =  99), or depressive disorder (DD, n  =  188) were surveyed about their adherence and attitudes towards outpatient visits and pharmacotherapy. Correlates of self-reported adherence to outpatient and drug treatment were investigated using regression analysis.

Results: The majority (78.5%) of patients reported having attended outpatient visits regularly or only partly irregularly. Most patients (79.2%) also reported regular use of pharmacotherapy. Self-reported non-adherence to preceding outpatient visits was consistently and significantly more common among inpatients than outpatients across all diagnostic groups (p < .001). Across all groups, hospital setting was the strongest independent correlate of poor adherence to outpatient visits (SSA β = -2.418, BD β = -3.417, DD β = -2.766; p < .001 in all). Another independent correlate of non-adherence was substance use disorder (SSA β = -1.555, p = .001; BD β = -1.535, p = .006; DD β = -2.258, p < .000). No other socio-demographic or clinical factor was significantly associated with poor adherence in multivariate regression models.

Conclusions: Irrespective of diagnosis, self-reported adherence to outpatient care among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression is associated strongly with two factors: hospital setting and substance use disorders. Thus, detection of adherence problems among former inpatients and recognition and treatment of substance misuse are important to ensure proper outpatient care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2018.1538387DOI Listing
October 2018

Impulsiveness and burn patients.

Burns 2019 02 2;45(1):63-68. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Helsinki Burn Center, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: Impulsiveness is a tendency to act quickly based on a whim without reflection or consideration of consequences. We studied its correlations with burn variables and mental disorders among burn patients.

Methods: Consecutive acute burn patients (N=107) admitted to the Helsinki Burn Center were assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV mental disorders (SCID) at baseline and at 6 months. All patients filled out the 30-item Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), the most commonly administered self-report measure and a standard point of reference in research on impulsiveness.

Results: The mean total score of BIS-11 was 64.5 (range 41.0-87.8, SD±6.9). There was not a significant correlation between impulsiveness and a range of characteristics of burn injury (all p-values>0.05). We found a significant correlation between some pre-burn mental disorders and impulsiveness, alcohol dependence and attentional impulsiveness (OR=1.22, p=0.022), any personality disorder and non-planning impulsiveness (OR=1.21, p=0.005), and antisocial personality disorder and motor impulsiveness (OR=1.35, p=0.043). Patients with high impulsiveness (total score >65) more often than those with low impulsiveness (≤65), had pre-burn mental disorders such as major depressive disorder (22.6% vs. 8.6%, p=0.046), alcohol dependence (46.9% vs. 25.9%, p=0.023), or other substance dependence (12.2% vs. 1.7%, p=0.028).

Conclusion: Impulsiveness had a significant correlation with mental disorders but not with burn-related variables. Therefore the role of impulsiveness in burn injuries should not be investigated independently without first accounting for the role of mental disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2018.08.017DOI Listing
February 2019

Internet use by older adults with bipolar disorder: international survey results.

Int J Bipolar Disord 2018 Sep 4;6(1):20. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Mood Disorders Center of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: The world population is aging and the number of older adults with bipolar disorder is increasing. Digital technologies are viewed as a framework to improve care of older adults with bipolar disorder. This analysis quantifies Internet use by older adults with bipolar disorder as part of a larger survey project about information seeking.

Methods: A paper-based survey about information seeking by patients with bipolar disorder was developed and translated into 12 languages. The survey was anonymous and completed between March 2014 and January 2016 by 1222 patients in 17 countries. All patients were diagnosed by a psychiatrist. General estimating equations were used to account for correlated data.

Results: Overall, 47% of older adults (age 60 years or older) used the Internet versus 87% of younger adults (less than 60 years). More education and having symptoms that interfered with regular activities increased the odds of using the Internet, while being age 60 years or older decreased the odds. Data from 187 older adults and 1021 younger adults were included in the analysis excluding missing values.

Conclusions: Older adults with bipolar disorder use the Internet much less frequently than younger adults. Many older adults do not use the Internet, and technology tools are suitable for some but not all older adults. As more health services are only available online, and more digital tools are developed, there is concern about growing health disparities based on age. Mental health experts should participate in determining the appropriate role for digital tools for older adults with bipolar disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40345-018-0127-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161969PMC
September 2018

Internet use by older adults with bipolar disorder: international survey results.

Int J Bipolar Disord 2018 Sep 4;6(1):20. Epub 2018 Sep 4.

Mood Disorders Center of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada.

Background: The world population is aging and the number of older adults with bipolar disorder is increasing. Digital technologies are viewed as a framework to improve care of older adults with bipolar disorder. This analysis quantifies Internet use by older adults with bipolar disorder as part of a larger survey project about information seeking.

Methods: A paper-based survey about information seeking by patients with bipolar disorder was developed and translated into 12 languages. The survey was anonymous and completed between March 2014 and January 2016 by 1222 patients in 17 countries. All patients were diagnosed by a psychiatrist. General estimating equations were used to account for correlated data.

Results: Overall, 47% of older adults (age 60 years or older) used the Internet versus 87% of younger adults (less than 60 years). More education and having symptoms that interfered with regular activities increased the odds of using the Internet, while being age 60 years or older decreased the odds. Data from 187 older adults and 1021 younger adults were included in the analysis excluding missing values.

Conclusions: Older adults with bipolar disorder use the Internet much less frequently than younger adults. Many older adults do not use the Internet, and technology tools are suitable for some but not all older adults. As more health services are only available online, and more digital tools are developed, there is concern about growing health disparities based on age. Mental health experts should participate in determining the appropriate role for digital tools for older adults with bipolar disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40345-018-0127-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161969PMC
September 2018

Clinical course predicts long-term outcomes in bipolar disorder.

Psychol Med 2019 05 28;49(7):1109-1117. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Department of Psychiatry,University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital,Helsinki,Finland.

Background: The long-term outcomes of bipolar disorder range from lasting remission to chronic course or frequent recurrences requiring admissions. The distinction between bipolar I and II disorders has limited utility in outcome prediction. It is unclear to what extent the clinical course of bipolar disorder predicts long-term outcomes.

Methods: A representative sample of 191 individuals diagnosed with bipolar I or II disorder was recruited and followed for up to 5 years using a life-chart method. We previously described the clinical course over the first 18 months with dimensional course characteristics and latent classes. Now we test if these course characteristics predict long-term outcomes, including time ill (time with any mood symptoms) and hospital admissions over a second non-overlapping follow-up period in 111 individuals with available data from both 18 months and 5 years follow-ups.

Results: Dimensional course characteristics from the first 18 months prospectively predicted outcomes over the following 3.5 years. The proportion of time depressed, the severity of depressive symptoms and the proportion of time manic predicted more time ill. The proportion of time manic, the severity of manic symptoms and depression-to-mania switching predicted a greater likelihood of hospital admissions. All predictions remained significant after controlling for age, sex and bipolar I v. II disorder.

Conclusions: Differential associations with long-term outcomes suggest that course characteristics may facilitate care planning with greater predictive validity than established types of bipolar disorders. A clinical course dominated by depressive symptoms predicts a greater proportion of time ill. A clinical course characterized by manic episodes predicts hospital admissions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718001678DOI Listing
May 2019

Psychoactive substance use in specialized psychiatric care patients.

Int J Psychiatry Med 2017 Jul-Sep;52(4-6):399-415

1 Department of Psychiatry, 159841 HYKS sairaanhoitopiiri , University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective Life expectancy of psychiatric patients is markedly shorter compared to the general population, likely partly due to smoking or misuse of other substances. We investigated prevalence and correlates of substance use among psychiatric patients. Methods Within the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium Study, data were collected on substance use (alcohol, smoking, and illicit drugs) among patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n = 113), bipolar (n = 99), or depressive disorder (n = 188). Clinical diagnoses of substance use were recorded, and information on smoking, hazardous alcohol use, or misuse of other substances was obtained using questionnaires. Results One-fourth (27.7%) of the patients had clinical diagnoses of substance use disorders. In addition, in the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, 43.1% had hazardous alcohol use and 38.4% were daily smokers. All substance use was more common in men than in women. Bipolar patients had the highest prevalence of alcohol use disorders and hazardous use, whereas those with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were more often daily smokers. In regression analyses, self-reported alcohol consumption was associated with symptoms of anxiety and borderline personality disorder and low conscientiousness. No associations emerged for smoking. Conclusions The vast majority of psychiatric care patients have a diagnosed substance use disorder, hazardous alcohol use, or smoke daily, males more often than females. Bipolar patients have the highest rates of alcohol misuse, schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder patients of smoking. Alcohol use may associate with symptoms of anxiety, borderline personality disorder, and low conscientiousness. Preventive and treatment efforts specifically targeted at harmful substance use among psychiatric patients are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0091217417738937DOI Listing
June 2018

Alcohol use and smoking in burn patients at the Helsinki Burn Center.

Burns 2018 02 4;44(1):158-167. Epub 2017 Aug 4.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Public Health Solutions, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: We investigated alcohol use and smoking at time of burn and their relationships with severity of burn and presence of mental disorders.

Methods: Consecutive acute burn patients (N=107) admitted to the Helsinki Burn Center were assessed with the structured clinical interview for mental disorders (SCID) at baseline and after 6 months. Information regarding being under the influence of alcohol and having smoking-related activity at burn as well as about hazardous drinking (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) and heavy smoking before the burn was recorded.

Results: Around half (52%) of the acute burn patients were under the influence of alcohol and 19% had been both drinking and smoking at the time of the burn. Patients under the influence at the time of burn had significantly higher prevalence of lifetime mental disorders compared to those patients who were not under the influence of alcohol (73.2% vs. 45.1%, p=0.003), especially alcohol dependence (55.4% vs. 13.7%, p<0.001) and anxiety disorders (28.6% vs. 9.8%, p=0.015). Patients who had both alcohol use and smoking at burn had even more often at least one mental disorder (95.0% vs. 51.7%, p<0.001), in specific alcohol dependence (90.0% vs. 23.0%, p<0.001), or psychotic disorder (25.0% vs. 6.9%, p=0.016). The main characteristics of the burns themselves did not differ significantly between these groups.

Conclusion: Half of the burn patients were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the burn in this study. In almost all patients where alcohol and smoking contributed to the burn a diagnosable alcohol use disorder was present. Interventions for those with alcohol use disorders and the associated risk behaviors are important for the prevention of burns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2017.05.019DOI Listing
February 2018

International multi-site survey on the use of online support groups in bipolar disorder.

Nord J Psychiatry 2017 Aug 11;71(6):473-476. Epub 2017 Jul 11.

z Department of Psychology & Aston Brain Centre , Aston University , Birmingham , UK.

Background: Peer support is an established component of recovery from bipolar disorder, and online support groups may offer opportunities to expand the use of peer support at the patient's convenience. Prior research in bipolar disorder has reported value from online support groups.

Aims: To understand the use of online support groups by patients with bipolar disorder as part of a larger project about information seeking.

Methods: The results are based on a one-time, paper-based anonymous survey about information seeking by patients with bipolar disorder, which was translated into 12 languages. The survey was completed between March 2014 and January 2016 and included questions on the use of online support groups. All patients were diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Analysis included descriptive statistics and general estimating equations to account for correlated data.

Results And Conclusions: The survey was completed by 1222 patients in 17 countries. The patients used the Internet at a percentage similar to the general public. Of the Internet users who looked online for information about bipolar disorder, only 21.0% read or participated in support groups, chats, or forums for bipolar disorder (12.8% of the total sample). Given the benefits reported in prior research, clarification of the role of online support groups in bipolar disorder is needed. With only a minority of patients using online support groups, there are analytical challenges for future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039488.2017.1334819DOI Listing
August 2017

Dangerously mixed.

Bipolar Disord 2017 06 11;19(4):314-315. Epub 2017 May 11.

Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services, Helsinki City Department of Social Services and Healthcare, Helsinki, Finland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bdi.12498DOI Listing
June 2017

Relationships between self-reported childhood traumatic experiences, attachment style, neuroticism and features of borderline personality disorders in patients with mood disorders.

J Affect Disord 2017 Mar 14;210:82-89. Epub 2016 Dec 14.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Mental Health Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Background: Co-occurring borderline personality disorder (BPD) features have a marked impact on treatment of patients with mood disorders. Overall, high neuroticism, childhood traumatic experiences (TEs) and insecure attachment are plausible aetiological factors for BPD. However, their relationship with BPD features specifically among patients with mood disorders remains unclear. We investigated these relationships among unipolar and bipolar mood disorder patients.

Methods: As part of the Helsinki University Psychiatric Consortium study, the McLean Screening Instrument (MSI), the Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised (ECR-R), the Short Five (S5) and the Trauma and Distress Scale (TADS) were filled in by patients with mood disorders (n=282) in psychiatric care. Correlation coefficients between total scores of scales and their dimensions were estimated, and multivariate regression (MRA) and mediation analyses were conducted.

Results: Spearman's correlations were strong (rho=0.58; p<0.001) between total scores of MSI and S5 Neuroticism and moderate (rho=0.42; p<0.001) between MSI and TADS as well as between MSI and ECR-R Attachment Anxiety. In MRA, young age, S5 Neuroticism and TADS predicted scores of MSI (p<0.001). ECR-R Attachment Anxiety mediated 33% (CI=17-53%) of the relationships between TADS and MSI.

Limitations: Cross-sectional questionnaire study.

Conclusions: We found moderately strong correlations between self-reported BPD features and concurrent high neuroticism, reported childhood traumatic experiences and Attachment Anxiety also among patients with mood disorders. Independent predictors for BPD features include young age, frequency of childhood traumatic experiences and high neuroticism. Insecure attachment may partially mediate the relationship between childhood traumatic experiences and borderline features among mood disorder patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2016.12.004DOI Listing
March 2017

Online information seeking by patients with bipolar disorder: results from an international multisite survey.

Int J Bipolar Disord 2016 Dec 24;4(1):17. Epub 2016 Aug 24.

AP-HP, Hôpitaux Universitaires Henri-Mondor, INSERM U955 (IMRB), Université Paris Est, Créteil, France.

Background: Information seeking is an important coping mechanism for dealing with chronic illness. Despite a growing number of mental health websites, there is little understanding of how patients with bipolar disorder use the Internet to seek information.

Methods: A 39 question, paper-based, anonymous survey, translated into 12 languages, was completed by 1222 patients in 17 countries as a convenience sample between March 2014 and January 2016. All patients had a diagnosis of bipolar disorder from a psychiatrist. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and generalized estimating equations to account for correlated data.

Results: 976 (81 % of 1212 valid responses) of the patients used the Internet, and of these 750 (77 %) looked for information on bipolar disorder. When looking online for information, 89 % used a computer rather than a smartphone, and 79 % started with a general search engine. The primary reasons for searching were drug side effects (51 %), to learn anonymously (43 %), and for help coping (39 %). About 1/3 rated their search skills as expert, and 2/3 as basic or intermediate. 59 % preferred a website on mental illness and 33 % preferred Wikipedia. Only 20 % read or participated in online support groups. Most patients (62 %) searched a couple times a year. Online information seeking helped about 2/3 to cope (41 % of the entire sample). About 2/3 did not discuss Internet findings with their doctor.

Conclusion: Online information seeking helps many patients to cope although alternative information sources remain important. Most patients do not discuss Internet findings with their doctor, and concern remains about the quality of online information especially related to prescription drugs. Patients may not rate search skills accurately, and may not understand limitations of online privacy. More patient education about online information searching is needed and physicians should recommend a few high quality websites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40345-016-0058-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995194PMC
December 2016

Internet use by patients with bipolar disorder: Results from an international multisite survey.

Psychiatry Res 2016 Aug 2;242:388-394. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Department of Psychology & Aston Brain Centre, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

There is considerable international interest in online education of patients with bipolar disorder, yet little understanding of how patients use the Internet and other sources to seek information. 1171 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 17 countries completed a paper-based, anonymous survey. 81% of the patients used the Internet, a percentage similar to the general public. Older age, less education, and challenges in country telecommunications infrastructure and demographics decreased the odds of using the Internet. About 78% of the Internet users looked online for information on bipolar disorder or 63% of the total sample. More years of education in relation to the country mean, and feeling very confident about managing life decreased the odds of seeking information on bipolar disorder online, while having attended support groups increased the odds. Patients who looked online for information on bipolar disorder consulted medical professionals plus a mean of 2.3 other information sources such as books, physician handouts, and others with bipolar disorder. Patients not using the Internet consulted medical professionals plus a mean of 1.6 other information sources. The percentage of patients with bipolar disorder who use the Internet is about the same as the general public. Other information sources remain important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.05.055DOI Listing
August 2016

Internet use by patients with bipolar disorder: Results from an international multisite survey.

Psychiatry Res 2016 Aug 2;242:388-394. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Department of Psychology & Aston Brain Centre, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

There is considerable international interest in online education of patients with bipolar disorder, yet little understanding of how patients use the Internet and other sources to seek information. 1171 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 17 countries completed a paper-based, anonymous survey. 81% of the patients used the Internet, a percentage similar to the general public. Older age, less education, and challenges in country telecommunications infrastructure and demographics decreased the odds of using the Internet. About 78% of the Internet users looked online for information on bipolar disorder or 63% of the total sample. More years of education in relation to the country mean, and feeling very confident about managing life decreased the odds of seeking information on bipolar disorder online, while having attended support groups increased the odds. Patients who looked online for information on bipolar disorder consulted medical professionals plus a mean of 2.3 other information sources such as books, physician handouts, and others with bipolar disorder. Patients not using the Internet consulted medical professionals plus a mean of 1.6 other information sources. The percentage of patients with bipolar disorder who use the Internet is about the same as the general public. Other information sources remain important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.05.055DOI Listing
August 2016

Internet use by patients with bipolar disorder: Results from an international multisite survey.

Psychiatry Res 2016 Aug 2;242:388-394. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Department of Psychology & Aston Brain Centre, Aston University, Birmingham, UK.

There is considerable international interest in online education of patients with bipolar disorder, yet little understanding of how patients use the Internet and other sources to seek information. 1171 patients with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder in 17 countries completed a paper-based, anonymous survey. 81% of the patients used the Internet, a percentage similar to the general public. Older age, less education, and challenges in country telecommunications infrastructure and demographics decreased the odds of using the Internet. About 78% of the Internet users looked online for information on bipolar disorder or 63% of the total sample. More years of education in relation to the country mean, and feeling very confident about managing life decreased the odds of seeking information on bipolar disorder online, while having attended support groups increased the odds. Patients who looked online for information on bipolar disorder consulted medical professionals plus a mean of 2.3 other information sources such as books, physician handouts, and others with bipolar disorder. Patients not using the Internet consulted medical professionals plus a mean of 1.6 other information sources. The percentage of patients with bipolar disorder who use the Internet is about the same as the general public. Other information sources remain important.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2016.05.055DOI Listing
August 2016

Predictors of long-term work disability among patients with type I and II bipolar disorder: a prospective 18-month follow-up study.

Bipolar Disord 2015 Dec 1;17(8):821-35. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

Unit of Mental Health, National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. However, vocational ability and predictors of long-term work disability have rarely been studied among patients with BD. We investigated clinical predictors of work disability among patients with BD in psychiatric care.

Methods: The Jorvi Bipolar Study (JoBS) is a naturalistic prospective cohort study (N = 191) representing adult (18-59 years) psychiatric inpatients and outpatients with DSM-IV bipolar I disorder (BD-I) and bipolar II disorder (BD-II) in three Finnish cities. Within the JoBS, we investigated the prevalence of disability pensions at baseline, and predictors for being granted a disability pension during an 18-month follow-up of the 151 patients in the labor force at baseline. Cox models were used to determine predictors for onset of disability pension.

Results: At baseline, 21% (40/191) of the patients already had a disability pension. During the follow-up, a further 38 patients (25% of the 151 followed) were granted a new disability pension. The predictors included older age, male gender, depressive index episode, higher number of psychiatric hospitalizations, generalized anxiety disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and depressive burden during follow-up. However, the predictors differed depending on bipolar subtype, age, and gender.

Conclusions: BD-I and BD-II are associated with a major risk of long-term work disability, the proportion of patients with a disability pension rising to 41% in the medium-term follow-up of the Finnish cohort investigated in the present study. Severe clinical course, depression, comorbidities, age, and gender are likely to be the main predictors but predictors may vary depending on the subgroup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bdi.12349DOI Listing
December 2015

Predictors of long-term work disability among patients with type I and II bipolar disorder: a prospective 18-month follow-up study.

Bipolar Disord 2015 Dec 1;17(8):821-35. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

Unit of Mental Health, National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objectives: Bipolar disorder (BD) is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. However, vocational ability and predictors of long-term work disability have rarely been studied among patients with BD. We investigated clinical predictors of work disability among patients with BD in psychiatric care.

Methods: The Jorvi Bipolar Study (JoBS) is a naturalistic prospective cohort study (N = 191) representing adult (18-59 years) psychiatric inpatients and outpatients with DSM-IV bipolar I disorder (BD-I) and bipolar II disorder (BD-II) in three Finnish cities. Within the JoBS, we investigated the prevalence of disability pensions at baseline, and predictors for being granted a disability pension during an 18-month follow-up of the 151 patients in the labor force at baseline. Cox models were used to determine predictors for onset of disability pension.

Results: At baseline, 21% (40/191) of the patients already had a disability pension. During the follow-up, a further 38 patients (25% of the 151 followed) were granted a new disability pension. The predictors included older age, male gender, depressive index episode, higher number of psychiatric hospitalizations, generalized anxiety disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and depressive burden during follow-up. However, the predictors differed depending on bipolar subtype, age, and gender.

Conclusions: BD-I and BD-II are associated with a major risk of long-term work disability, the proportion of patients with a disability pension rising to 41% in the medium-term follow-up of the Finnish cohort investigated in the present study. Severe clinical course, depression, comorbidities, age, and gender are likely to be the main predictors but predictors may vary depending on the subgroup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bdi.12349DOI Listing
December 2015

Return to work six months after burn: a prospective study at the Helsinki Burn Center.

Burns 2015 Sep 16;41(6):1152-60. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objective: Burn and other major injuries often impair survivors' capacity to work. We investigated predictors for not returning to work by six months after acute burn. Differences in demographic, clinical and psychiatric characteristics between burn patients returning to work and those not were examined.

Method: All consecutive acute burn patients (N=107) admitted to the Helsinki Burn Center were assessed with a structured psychiatric diagnostic interview at baseline. Of the 60 patients working at baseline, 53 patients (88%) participated in the six-month follow-up interview. Variables predicting not returning to work were analyzed in binary logistic regression models.

Results: Two-thirds (70%, 37 of 53) of the cohort followed returned to work by six months. When compared to patients returning to work, those not returning to work had a higher mean percentage of total body surface area (TBSA) (16.3% vs. 6.2%, p=0.001), and hand burns were more common (75% vs. 41%). The presence of mental disorders during follow-up was also more common (81% vs. 30%, p=0.001), particularly major depressive disorder (MDD) (31% vs. 3%) or delirium (31% vs. 3%). In a multivariate analysis, proportion of total body surface area (%TBSA) burned (B=1.12, p=0.029) and presence of MDD (OR 55.3, p=0.007) or delirium (OR 19.2, p=0.046) significantly predicted not returning to work.

Conclusion: Majority of the burn patients working at baseline returned to work by six months. Capacity to work after burn is predicted by both smaller %TBSA burned and lack of diagnosable mental disorders, particularly delirium or MDD, after burn.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2015.06.010DOI Listing
September 2015

Functioning, Disability, and Social Adaptation Six Months After Burn Injury.

J Burn Care Res 2016 May-Jun;37(3):e234-43

From the *Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; †Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland; ‡Department of Psychiatry, City of Helsinki, Department of Social Services and Health care, Helsinki, Finland; and §Helsinki Burn Centre, Department of Plastic Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.

Major injuries commonly cause long-standing functional impairment. The authors investigated the levels of and predictors for functioning, disability, and social adaptation 6 months after a burn injury. The overall level of functioning at 6 months postburn was assessed among 87 (81%) of the 107 consecutive acute adult burn patients (mean TBSA 9.7%) admitted to the Helsinki Burn Centre during an 18-month period. Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) was used to evaluate functioning overall, and Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) to assess the domains of working capacity, social life, and family life. Social Adaptation Self-Evaluation Scale (SASS) was used to measure social adaptation. Structured clinical interview was used to assess mental disorders at baseline and 6 months after injury. The mean SOFAS score was 69.7 (SD = 20.8), indicating some impairment in social and occupational functioning. The strongest independent predictors of SOFAS were mental disorders during follow-up (P < .001), particularly major depressive disorder (P < .001) and delirium (P = .016), but also length of stay (P = .004) and hand burn (P = .012). Concerning disability (SDS), the authors found mild impairment in all three domains, the most in SDS work (mean 3.59, SD = 3.46). The strongest predictor of SDS was major depressive disorder during follow-up (P < .001) and of SASS personality disorders (P = .007). Six months after a burn injury, some difficulties in social and occupational functioning remained. Level of functioning was predicted strongly and consistently by mental disorders, particularly depression. Length of stay and hand burns also predicted functioning, more in a clinician's evaluation (SOFAS) than in self-reported measures (SDS and SASS).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/BCR.0000000000000258DOI Listing
March 2018

Validity and reliability of the Finnish version of the Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) in bipolar disorder.

Int J Bipolar Disord 2015 1;3:10. Epub 2015 May 1.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Välskärinkatu 12, 00260 Helsinki, Finland.

Background: The Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) was developed for the clinical evaluation of functional impairment of patients suffering from bipolar disorder. The aim of this study was to validate the Finnish version of FAST.

Methods: Translation and back-translation of FAST were performed. Fifty patients with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth edition (DSM-IV) bipolar type I and II were interviewed at the Bipolar Disorder Research and Treatment Centre, City of Helsinki, Finland. Participants completed the FAST, the Social and Occupational Functioning Assessment Scale (SOFAS) of DSM-IV, and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS) as part of the assessment. Internal consistency and correlations between FAST and SOFAS and SDS were analysed. Twenty-five patients participated in a reliability assessment carried out 1 week apart by a different rater.

Results And Discussion: The internal consistency coefficient obtained was very good, with a Cronbach alpha of 0.870. Reliability of FAST was also found excellent (correlation between two measures r = 0.896, p < 0.001). A highly significant negative correlation between FAST and SOFAS scores was found (r = -0.723, p < 0.001). FAST and SDS were also highly significantly correlated (r = 0.742, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: The psychometric validity and reliability of FAST in the Finnish sample of patients with bipolar disorder types I and II were good.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40345-015-0025-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4414855PMC
May 2015

Influence of light exposure during early life on the age of onset of bipolar disorder.

J Psychiatr Res 2015 May 27;64:1-8. Epub 2015 Mar 27.

3rd Department of Psychiatry, Division of Neurosciences, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Background: Environmental conditions early in life may imprint the circadian system and influence response to environmental signals later in life. We previously determined that a large springtime increase in solar insolation at the onset location was associated with a younger age of onset of bipolar disorder, especially with a family history of mood disorders. This study investigated whether the hours of daylight at the birth location affected this association.

Methods: Data collected previously at 36 collection sites from 23 countries were available for 3896 patients with bipolar I disorder, born between latitudes of 1.4 N and 70.7 N, and 1.2 S and 41.3 S. Hours of daylight variables for the birth location were added to a base model to assess the relation between the age of onset and solar insolation.

Results: More hours of daylight at the birth location during early life was associated with an older age of onset, suggesting reduced vulnerability to the future circadian challenge of the springtime increase in solar insolation at the onset location. Addition of the minimum of the average monthly hours of daylight during the first 3 months of life improved the base model, with a significant positive relationship to age of onset. Coefficients for all other variables remained stable, significant and consistent with the base model.

Conclusions: Light exposure during early life may have important consequences for those who are susceptible to bipolar disorder, especially at latitudes with little natural light in winter. This study indirectly supports the concept that early life exposure to light may affect the long term adaptability to respond to a circadian challenge later in life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.03.013DOI Listing
May 2015

Five-year outcome of bipolar I and II disorders: findings of the Jorvi Bipolar Study.

Bipolar Disord 2015 Jun 2;17(4):363-74. Epub 2015 Mar 2.

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute of Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Objectives: The long-term outcome of bipolar disorder (BD) has been extensively investigated. However, previous studies may be biased towards hospitalized patients with bipolar I disorder (BD-I), and generalizability to the current treatment era remains uncertain. In this naturalistic study, we followed a secondary-care cohort of patients with BD.

Methods: In the Jorvi Bipolar Study, 191 patients with BD-I and bipolar II disorder (BD-II) were followed using a life-chart method. Interviews were conducted at six months, 18 months, and five years. Time to full remission, time to first recurrence, total time ill, their predictors, and BD-I versus BD-II differences were investigated among the 151 patients remaining in follow-up.

Results: Nearly all subjects recovered from the index episode, but almost all (90%) had a recurrence, and most had multiple recurrences. The patients spent about one-third of their time in illness episodes and 15% of their time with subthreshold symptoms; half of the time they were euthymic. After controlling for confounders, no difference in time spent in depressive states between patients with BD-I and BD-II persisted. Among patients with a depressive index phase, cluster C personality disorders [hazard ratio (HR) = 0.452, p = 0.040] and higher 17-item Hamilton Depression Scale score (HR = 0.951, p = 0.022) predicted longer time to remission, whereas lifetime psychotic symptoms (HR = 2.162, p = 0.016) predicted shorter time to first recurrence.

Conclusions: Among patients with BD, chronicity as uninterrupted persistence of illness was rare, but multiple recurrences were the norm. Patients with BD spent only half of their time euthymic. Patients with BD-I and BD-II may differ little in proneness to depressive states. Severity of depression, cluster C personality disorders, and psychotic symptoms predicted outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bdi.12291DOI Listing
June 2015

Health-related quality of life 6 months after burns among hospitalized patients: Predictive importance of mental disorders and burn severity.

Burns 2015 Jun 13;41(4):742-8. Epub 2015 Feb 13.

Department of Psychiatry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Finland; Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland.

Rationale: Major burns are likely to have a strong impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). We investigated the level of and predictors for quality of life at 6 months after acute burn.

Methods: Consecutive acute adult burn patients (n=107) admitted to the Helsinki Burn Centre were examined with a structured diagnostic interview (SCID) at baseline, and 92 patients (86%) were re-examined at 6 months after injury. During follow-up 55% (51/92) suffered from at least one mental disorder. The mean %TBSA was 9. TBSA of men did not differ from that of women. Three validated instruments (RAND-36, EQ-5, 15D) were used to evaluate the quality of life at 6 months.

Results: All the measures (RAND-36, EQ-5, 15D) consistently indicated mostly normal HRQoL at 6 months after burn. In the multivariate linear regression model, %TBSA predicted HRQoL in one dimension (role limitations caused by physical health problems, p=0.039) of RAND-36. In contrast, mental disorders overall and particularly major depressive disorder (MDD) during follow-up (p-values of 0.001-0.002) predicted poor HRQoL in all dimensions of RAND-36. HRQoL of women was worse than that of men.

Conclusion: Self-perceived HRQoL among acute burn patients at 6 months after injury seems to be mostly as good as in general population studies in Finland. The high standard of acute treatment and the inclusion of small burns (%TBSA<5) in the cohort may partly explain the weak effect of burn itself on HRQoL. Mental disorders strongly predicted HRQoL at 6 months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.burns.2014.11.006DOI Listing
June 2015

Relationship between sunlight and the age of onset of bipolar disorder: an international multisite study.

J Affect Disord 2014 29;167:104-11. Epub 2014 May 29.

Laboratory of Molecular Psychiatry, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Background: The onset of bipolar disorder is influenced by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors. We previously found that a large increase in sunlight in springtime was associated with a lower age of onset. This study extends this analysis with more collection sites at diverse locations, and includes family history and polarity of first episode.

Methods: Data from 4037 patients with bipolar I disorder were collected at 36 collection sites in 23 countries at latitudes spanning 3.2 north (N) to 63.4 N and 38.2 south (S) of the equator. The age of onset of the first episode, onset location, family history of mood disorders, and polarity of first episode were obtained retrospectively, from patient records and/or direct interview. Solar insolation data were obtained for the onset locations.

Results: There was a large, significant inverse relationship between maximum monthly increase in solar insolation and age of onset, controlling for the country median age and the birth cohort. The effect was reduced by half if there was no family history. The maximum monthly increase in solar insolation occurred in springtime. The effect was one-third smaller for initial episodes of mania than depression. The largest maximum monthly increase in solar insolation occurred in northern latitudes such as Oslo, Norway, and warm and dry areas such as Los Angeles, California.

Limitations: Recall bias for onset and family history data.

Conclusions: A large springtime increase in sunlight may have an important influence on the onset of bipolar disorder, especially in those with a family history of mood disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2014.05.032DOI Listing
May 2015
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