Health status and mobility limitations are associated with residential and employment status in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

M. Strassnig, D. Cornacchio, P. D. Harvey, R. Kotov, L. Fochtmann, E. J. Bromet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Introduction Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BP) are linked to multiple impairments in everyday functioning which share cognitive and symptom risk factors. Other risk factors for critical aspects of every day functioning (e.g., gainful employment; residential independence) such as physical health have not been evaluated, despite poor health in SCZ and BP. Methods We analyzed 20-year follow-up data from the Suffolk County Mental Health Project cohort of consecutive first admissions with a psychotic disorder to 12 psychiatric facilities in Suffolk County, NY, between September 1989 and December 1995. Both 20-year symptom, health, and cognition data, and the 20-year course of weight gain were included as predictors of employment and residence status. Results The analysis sample consisted of 122 participants with SCZ ad BP, with SCZ participants less likely to work or live independently. Correlational analyses showed symptoms and cognition predicted vocational outcomes in both samples. The effect of diagnosis was significant for both gainful employment and independence in residence. After consideration of diagnosis, mobility and negative symptoms predicted gainful employment in both samples, but there were no additional predictors of residential independence. Prospective analysis of BMI found that baseline BMI, but not changes during the 20-year follow up, predicted labor force participation. Discussion Health status limitations were associated with residential and, particularly, employment status independent from other, previously established predictors of everyday outcomes, including cognition and symptoms. The importance of health status limitations for predicting outcome was confirmed in both SCZ and BP, with schizophrenia representing the more impaired group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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