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Childhood trauma in bipolar disorder.

Watson, S; Gallagher, P; Dougall, D; Porter, R; Moncrieff, J; Ferrier, IN; Young, AH; (2014) Childhood trauma in bipolar disorder. Aust N Z J Psychiatry , 48 (6) pp. 564-570. 10.1177/0004867413516681. Green open access

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Objective:There has been little investigation of early trauma in bipolar disorder despite evidence that stress impacts on the course of this illness. We aimed to compare the rates of childhood trauma in adults with bipolar disorder to a healthy control group, and to investigate the impact of childhood trauma on the clinical course of bipolar disorder.Methods:Retrospective assessment of childhood trauma was conducted using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) in 60 outpatients with bipolar disorder being treated for a depressive episode and 55 control participants across two centres in north-east England and New Zealand.Results:Significantly higher rates of childhood trauma were observed in patients with bipolar I and bipolar II disorder compared to controls. Logistic regression, controlling for age and sex, identified emotional neglect to be the only significant CTQ subscale associated with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Childhood history of sexual abuse was not a significant predictor. Associations with clinical severity or course were less clear.Conclusions:Childhood emotional neglect appears to be significantly associated with bipolar disorder. Limitations include the relatively small sample size, which potentially increases the risk of type II errors. Replication of this study is required, with further investigation into the neurobiological consequences of childhood trauma, particularly emotional neglect.

Type: Article
Title: Childhood trauma in bipolar disorder.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0004867413516681
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0004867413516681
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: Bipolar disorder, childhood trauma, depression, emotional neglect
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1427424
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