Condition-specific quality of life (QoL) instruments are more representative of the priorities of people with lived experience. As such, the development of the first and only bipolar disorder (BD) specific measurement instrument, the Quality of Life in Bipolar Disorder (QoL.BD) questionnaire, marked an important step forward for the literature. The present systematic review aims to characterise applications of the QoL.BD in the BD literature and review empirical findings obtained from studies using this measure.
A systematic search identified 37 peer-reviewed publications which reported original empirical data using the QoL.BD in a BD population. No restrictions were placed on language/study type.
Adaptations to the QoL.BD displayed appropriate psychometric properties. Although clinical trials were typically underpowered, promising effect sizes for a number of treatment modalities were reported. QoL.BD scores were moderately correlated with depressive symptoms; a number of candidate predictors were identified.
Due to resource limitations, the present review used one database (Google Scholar), and a single author reviewed articles for eligibility. On balance the risks of missing relevant studies were deemed minimal.
A sizeable, international body of evidence now exists regarding the measurement, presentation, and treatment of condition-specific aspects of QoL in BD. Key avenues for future research include large scale, randomized control clinical trials using the QoL.BD as a primary outcome, and granular exploration of potential correlates of QoL.BD domain scores. Finally, longer follow-up periods are required to inform understanding of the dynamic relationship between clinical variables and condition-specific aspects of QoL in BD.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.