, Volume 34, Issue 10, pp 513-518

Clinical and social needs of schizophrenic outpatients living in the community: the relationship between needs and subjective quality of life

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Background: The aims of this study were to assess self-perceived clinical and social needs among 120 schizophrenic outpatients, and the relationship between needs and subjective quality of life. Method: The Camberwell Assessment of Need instrument (CAN) was used to assess needs and the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile was employed to assess subjective quality of life. Results: More than half of the patients expressed needs in areas concerning psychotic symptoms, daytime activity, company, physical health and information about their condition or treatment. The areas with the highest proportion of unmet needs were information, company, intimate relationship, physical health, daytime activity and psychological distress. A more severe need of care and support in the areas of company, psychological distress, daytime activity and sexual expression was associated with a worse subjective quality of life, controlling for the influence of symptomatology. Conclusions: The results point to a need to further emphasise interventions towards the treatment of psychotic symptoms and psychological distress as well as to focus on interventions concerning the social relations and occupational situation of long-term mentally ill patients.

Accepted: 10 June 1999