, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 515-526

Determinants of Changes in Perceived Quality of Life in the Course of Schizophrenia

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This study aimed to identify factors that influence changes in satisfaction with quality of life (QOL) of schizophrenia patients. Baseline and follow up data for 148 schizophrenia patients were obtained at hospital admission and 16 months later. Relationships between changes over time in the general QOL index, and various factors were investigated using factor, multiple regression, and partial correlation analyses. Findings indicate that baseline levels of activation symptoms, emotional distress, task oriented coping, self-esteem and friend support together explain 41% of the variability in the general QOL index 16 months later. Changes in the general QOL of schizophrenia patients over time is associated with anergia, and paranoid symptoms, emotional distress, side effects, self-esteem, emotion and avoidance related coping styles, expressed emotion, and other social support. Determinants of change in QOL of patients were different being in hospital or out of hospital in the real world. No significant association of age, education, and follow up duration, with general QOL. Based on obtained data three types of overlapping factors were defined: (1) distressing, and protective; (2) primary and secondary; and (3) factors that remained constant or changed over time. Presented data are discussed within the framework of the Distress/Protection model of QOL. The conceptualization of three types of factors influencing QOL outcomes in this model demonstrates their predictive value, and may assist investigators and mental health workers in the interpretation of QOL data that may be used to improve patients’ QOL outcomes.