The factor structure of clinical symptoms in depressed inpatients with unipolar or bipolar spectrum disorders: A preliminary study

Philip D Harvey, Kevin P. Young, Abraham Reichenberg, David L. Pogge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Factor analysis of symptom structure has proven to be a valuable tool to identify dimensions of symptoms in various psychiatric conditions. This study used exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to examine symptom structures in depressed inpatients with unipolar (n = 718) or bipolar (n = 134) spectrum disorders who were rated at admission with a psychiatric rating scale. No differences in overall symptom severity on the scale were found in the 2 samples, although different factor structures were detected with exploratory analyses. These models were modified in a confirmatory modeling procedure to improve their fit to the data, resulting in models with good, but not perfect, fits. For people with bipolar disorders, a 5-factor model fit best, with depression loading with anxiety symptoms and in people with unipolar disorders, a 4-factor model with depression loading with vegetative symptoms was found. Our results suggest that similar levels of symptom severity may have different underpinnings in the 2 groups and suggest that more comparative studies of symptoms in these 2 conditions may be useful.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009
Externally publishedYes



  • Bipolar depression
  • Factor analysis
  • Symptom structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine(all)

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