Prospective memory deficits in patients with bipolar disorder: A preliminary study

Edwin Lee, Yu Tao Xiang, Wai Kwong Man, Raymond W.C. Au, David Shum, Wai Kwong Tang, Helen F.K. Chiu, Pinki Wong, Gabor S. Ungvari

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Prospective memory (PM) is the ability to remember to do something in the future without explicit prompts. To date, little has been known about PM deficits in bipolar disorder (BD). This study examined the nature and correlates of PM in patients with BD. Forty clinically stable BD patients and 40 matched healthy controls formed the study sample. Socio-demographic characteristics, PM, psychosocial functioning, retrospective memory (RM), and IQ were measured in all participants, whereas clinical condition was measured in patients with standardized assessment instruments. Patients performed significantly more poorly on the time-based PM task than controls (10.6 ± 5.0 vs. 14.6 ± 3.0, p <. 001). In correlation analyses, older age, lower education, more severe depressive and manic symptoms, poor psychosocial functioning, poor RM, and lower scores in IQ were significantly associated with poor performance in the time-based PM task, whereas poor RM and lower scores in IQ associated with poorer performance in the event-based PM task in patients. In multivariate analyses, severity of depression and older age significantly contributed to poor performance in the time-based PM task, whereas poor RM contributed to poor performance in the event-based PM task in patients. The time-based PM is impaired in BD patients. Depressive symptoms, age, and RM were determinants of certain aspects of impaired PM performance in BD patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)640-647
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Clinical Neuropsychology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2010


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Prospective memory
  • Retrospective memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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