Don't Apply Conventional Expectations to Quality of Life with Schizophrenia. (Clinicians, Patients Disagree on Criteria)

By Sherman, Carl | Clinical Psychiatry News, December 2001 | Go to article overview

Don't Apply Conventional Expectations to Quality of Life with Schizophrenia. (Clinicians, Patients Disagree on Criteria)


Sherman, Carl, Clinical Psychiatry News


MADRID -- Patients and their psychiatrists appear to have very different ideas about what determines quality of life in schizophrenia, Dr. Ingunn Skre said at the World Psychiatric Association International Congress 2001.

"We shouldn't use our own standards of quality of life, but [instead should] ask patients if they're depressed, and whether they have friends," said Dr. Skre of the University of Tromso (Norway).

Dr. Skre reported a study of 45 chronic schizophrenic patients, 23 men and 22 women ranging in age from 23 to 60 years (mean age 36.5 years) who had been ill a mean of 13 years. All were living outside the hospital at the time of the study.

As a group, they were highly symptomatic and poorly functioning. Only 5 were employed (part-time); 36 had never married, and just 8 had had children. "They had not fulfilled conventional expectations of family living," she said.

Physicians assessed their quality of life objectively, as well as subjectively, using a questionnaire. The ratings that patients gave themselves, a mean of 60 on a scale of 1-100, were "not very different from normal, and not much lower than patients with other chronic diseases," Dr. Skre said.

The clinicians, on the other hand, rated their patients' quality of life as far below average. …

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