December 13, 2006

Schizophrenia and Quality of Life - Key Factors

The quality of life (QOL) of people living with schizophrenia in France, Ireland, Portugal and Spain was studied and compared in order to learn about the events and circumstances that affect QOL in these countries. The study's findings and discussion, appearing in Medscape, concluded that although each country's resources and care available to the patients differed greatly, the biggest enhancers of quality of life across the board were marital status and income.

Other factors found that contributed to an individual's perception of their quality of life were living conditions, gender, education and work status, but in varying and not always expected ways.

Marital Status and Income
Having one's own financial resources powerfully enhances one's feeling of satisfaction with life, but so too does being in a supportive marital relationship. Being in a marital relationship appears to be one of the most important variables in terms of satisfaction for both men and women.

Living Conditions
It was noted that living conditions, such as living arrangements, had an impact on the subjective QOL of individuals. In all studies, the least restrictive living arrangements were associated with better QOL. The group of people with the poorest quality of life and the most dissatisfaction with their finances, was living in Portugal (Lisbon) where most of the individuals were living within their families with no outside resources at all.

Gender was not found to impact the quality of life of people with schizophrenia in these four European countries. This correlated with the results from studies in the United States but contrasted with studies of QOL in Cuba and Canada. In Cuba, being female was found to negatively impact social relationship QOL, whereas in Canada being female conferred a positive influence on the patient's social QOL.

Although higher levels of education are usually correlated with increased well-being and mental health, the researchers found the inverse to to be true when correlating educational status of people with schizophrenia and their subsequent perception of their quality of life.

Work Status
Satisfaction with work status did differ by gender. Working males were the most satisfied group and non-working males the least satisfied. This contrasted greatly with the female group, in which working females expressed less satisfaction across all subjective life domains than did non-working females.

Read the article: Schizophrenia and Quality of Life: A One-Year Follow-Up in Four EU Countries (Free Registration Required)
Original Source Research Paper: Schizophrenia and quality of life: a one-year follow-up in four EU countries Kovess-Masféty et al; BioMed Central

Additional Reading about Schizophrenia and Quality of Life:
New Housing for people who have schizophrenia in Canada
Calls for Mental Illness Treatment Reform
Update on Integrated Psychological Treatment
How important is early care for schizophrenia?


I definitely feel like my quality of life has gone way down. The fact that I'm not able to achieve the level of potential that I once could is endlessly frustrating, and will become more frustrating as I continue to grow older and see other people developing as normal human beings while I get left in the dust... Some people say that everything happens for a reason.... I don't believe that.

Posted by: Cory Schulz at December 14, 2006 09:03 PM

related burden caregiver with quality of life patient schizophrenia, thanks

Posted by: farah at April 16, 2007 07:06 PM

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