Principal domains of behavioral psychopathology identified by the Bipolar Inventory of Signs and Symptoms Scale (BISS)

Peter M. Thompson, Jodi M. Gonzalez, Vivek Singh, John D. Schoolfield, Martin M. Katz, Charles L. Bowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Current symptom rating scales and diagnostic categories for bipolar disorder (BD) do not provide dimensional profiles of the types of behavior disturbed in this complex disorder. To overcome these limitations we identified the principal domains of behavioral symptomatology in bipolar individuals, including all mood states, and used a more comprehensive rating scale for BD: the Bipolar Inventory of Signs and Symptoms Scale (BISS). A total of 246 patients with BD (196 with BD type I, and 50 with BD type II) were interviewed using the BISS. Exploratory factor analysis was performed on the BISS results using the maximum likelihood factor extraction method, followed by oblique rotation of the extracted factor loadings. We determined the strength of relationships between factor scores using the Pearson correlation coefficient. The following five factors were extracted: mania, depression, irritability, anxiety and psychosis. Anxiety was significantly correlated with depression and irritability. The mania factor score was only weakly associated with the other four factors. The domains of the BISS capture both the historical categories of depression and mania, plus irritability, psychosis, and an additional principal domain, anxiety. Despite the common occurrence of anxiety in BD, it has not been identified in most prior factor analyses, in part due to limited coverage of anxiety symptoms in the source scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalPsychiatry Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 28 2010


  • Assessment
  • Bipolar depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Factors
  • Mania
  • Mixed mania
  • Rating scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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