Purpose: To clarify the relationship between the length of unstable periods and employment status of patients with bipolar disorder. Patients and Methods: Medical records of outpatients with bipolar disorder who visited 176 member clinics of the Japanese Association of Neuro-Psychiatric Clinics were investigated during September–October 2016, and details of their medical care and employment were surveyed using a questionnaire. The odds ratios (ORs) of length of unstable period and unemployment were analyzed with a logistic regression model. Results: The study included 816 patients, of whom 707 were employed full-time (continuous employment) and 70 were unemployed (loss of employment). Univariate analysis showed that ORs were statistically significant for patients who were unstable for “almost all” of the year (OR = 10.4 [4.48–24.28] p < 0.001), but not for “few” unstable periods (OR = 1.06 [0.56–1.98] p = 0.849) and for “significant” unstable periods (OR = 1.65 [0.73–3.74] p = 0.231) were not significantly different. Multivariate analysis showed that ORs were statistically “significant” for patients who were unstable for “almost all” (OR = 12.1 [4.37–33.3] p < 0.001), but not for “few” unstable periods (OR = 1.07 [0.55–2.07] p = 0.846) and for “significant” unstable periods (OR = 1.62 [0.66–3.98] p = 0.290) did not differ significantly. Conclusion: Patients with bipolar disorder with a long unstable period were associated with a higher risk of unemployment.
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