Social cognition moderates the relationship between neurocognition and community functioning in bipolar disorder

L. H. Ospina, G. C. Nitzburg, M. Shanahan, M. M. Perez-Rodriguez, E. Larsen, A. Latifoglu, K. E. Burdick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Schizophrenia (SZ) studies suggest that neurocognition predicts functional outcome and that social cognition mediates this relationship. Bipolar disorder (BD) patients also have cognitive, social, and functional impairments but the relationship among these factors in BD is not well established. We assessed whether social cognition modulates the influence of neurocognition on community functioning in BD, as found in SZ. Methods: 200 BD patients and 49 healthy controls (HC) were administered and compared on a battery of tests assessing neurocognition, social cognition, and community functioning. We conducted a series of regression analyses to investigate potential mediation or moderation of social cognition on the relationship between neurocognition and community functioning. Results: BD patients performed worse on neurocognitive domains of processing speed, attention, verbal learning, and global neurocognition. Also, BD patients performed worse on theory of mind, the social cognition composite score, and community functioning. Neurocognition did not significantly predict functional outcome in our BD sample. However, we found a moderating effect of social cognition: among patients with poor social cognition, better neurocognition was associated with better community functioning, a relationship not seen in BD patients with good social cognition. Limitations: The study was limited by a relatively small HC group and assessing one subtype of functioning status. Conclusions: The relationship between neurocognition and community functioning in BD may be dependent on social cognition status, implying the presence of social cognitive heterogeneity. Results may be relevant to choosing proper treatment interventions depending on the patient's social cognitive level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-14
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume235
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Functioning
  • Moderator
  • Neurocognition
  • Social cognition

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