To compare sensory processing, coping strategies, and quality of life (QoL) in unipolar and bipolar patients; to examine correlations between sensory processing and QoL; and to investigate the relative contribution of sociodemographic characteristics, sensory processing, and coping strategies to the prediction of QoL.
Two hundred sixty-seven participants, aged 16-85 years (53.6±15.7), of whom 157 had a diagnosis of unipolar major depressive disorder and 110 had bipolar disorder type I and type II, completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile, Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced, and 12-item Short-Form Health Survey version 2. The two groups were compared with multivariate analyses.
The unipolar and bipolar groups did not differ concerning sensory processing, coping strategies, or QoL. Sensory processing patterns correlated with QoL independently of mediation by coping strategies. Correlations between low registration, sensory sensitivity, sensation avoidance, and reduced QoL were found more frequently in unipolar patients than bipolar patients. Higher physical QoL was mainly predicted by lower age and lower sensory sensitivity, whereas higher mental QoL was mainly predicted by coping strategies.
While age may predict physical QoL, coping strategies predict mental QoL. Future studies should further investigate the impact of sensory processing and coping strategies on patients' QoL in order to enhance adaptive and functional behaviors related to affective disturbances.
Keywords: Major affective disorders; sensory processing disorders; coping strategies; quality of life