Objective and subjective quality of life of first-admitted women and men with schizophrenia
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Empirical studies have shown that there are differences between women and men with respect to the onset of schizophrenia and the development of their mental and social conditions. It was therefore the goal of this study to assess the objective life situation and subjective quality of life, as well as the differences, similarities and interrelations, at the onset of schizophrenia in women and men. Ninety schizophrenic patients were interviewed between the second and fourth weeks of their first hospital stay using the Berlin Quality of Life Profile, and rated according to the BPRS. Areas of social problems (work, living circumstances, safety and drug abuse) had become manifest with several of the patients, particularly among the young men, prior to first admission. Although objective conditions, gender and psychopathology have an impact on the subjective quality of life, it cannot be fully explained by them. Multivariate analyses have demonstrated that the factors influencing it are probably different for women and men, and schizophrenic women appraise their life circumstances in a different manner from men, as is true for differences between the statements of acutely and chronically ill patients. It can be concluded from the results of this study that psychiatric services should offer specific social support measures before or at first hospital admission and not after the illness has become chronic. The subjective construct of global quality of life apparently differs from one sample to another, and gender-related aspects, among others, have an impact on it.
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