, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 624-631

The impact of work-related rehabilitation on the quality of life of patients with schizophrenia

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In a cross-sectional study of 60 outpatients with schizophrenia (mean age 36.3 ± 11.1) the effect of a work-related rehabilitation programme on the patients' quality of life was investigated. A group of patients with the same diagnosis, but without rehabilitation, served as controls. Patients of the rehabilitation group had been attending the programme for a mean duration of 15.0 months. The programme focuses on occupational and everyday skills and also involves social aspects. The patients' quality of life was assessed using two self-administered questionnaires: the Munich List of Life Dimensions (MLDL, Heinisch et al. 1991) and the Everyday Life Questionnaire (Bullinger et al. 1993). Life satisfaction as well as functional quality of life were higher in the rehabilitation group in the majority of domains assessed. Difference between groups was highest for satisfaction with work, followed by leisure-time activities, independence and friendships/acquaintances. Results indicate that the rehabilitation programme acts like a “lever” which, applied to one point (work, day structuring), subsequently affects most domains of daily living.