Quality of Life Research

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 1079–1089 | Cite as

The World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale Brief Version: a validation study in patients with schizophrenia

  • Laia Mas-Expósito
  • Juan Antonio Amador-Campos
  • Juana Gómez-Benito
  • Lluís Lalucat-Jo
Article

Abstract

Purpose

The World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF) is used for patients with schizophrenia although no validation is available. This work addresses this issue by dealing with its psychometric properties in a clinical sample of patients with schizophrenia.

Methods

Two hundred forty-one patients from 10 Adult Mental Health Care Centers (AMHCC) meeting the following inclusion criteria were included: (1) International Classification of Diseases-10 or ICD-10 diagnosis of schizophrenia, (2) Global Assessment of Functioning scores or GAF ≤ 50, 3) Illness duration of more than 2 years and (4) Clinical stability at assessment time. Patients were evaluated at baseline and at one-year follow-up regarding quality of life (QOL), clinical variables and other psychosocial measures.

Results

Internal consistency was excellent for the total WHOQOL-BREF (0.88 at baseline and 0.89 at follow-up) and adequate (0.65–0.78 at baseline; 0.66–0.79 at one-year follow-up) for the WHOQOL-BREF domains. Correlations between WHOQOL-BREF scores and those of global functioning, psychiatric symptoms, disability and social support ranged between small and large. There were significant differences between groups of patients with schizophrenia in the WHOQOL-BREF. Patients who were anxious, disabled, lacked social support and used more social services scored significantly lower in some or all WHOQOL-BREF domains. Changes in WHOQOL-BREF scores were positively associated with changes over time in global functioning, social support and use of health services, and negatively with psychiatric symptoms and disability (correlation coefficients between small and moderate). After one-year follow-up, patients improved in overall functioning and there was a decrease in psychiatric symptoms.

Conclusions

This study shows that the WHOQOL-BREF has good reliability and validity, and suggests that it is suitable for the assessment of QOL in patients with schizophrenia.

Keywords

WHOQOL-BREF Quality of life Schizophrenia Reliability Validity 

Abbreviations

QOL

Quality of life

WHOQOL-100

World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale

WHOQOL-BREF

World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale Brief Version

AMHCC

Adult Mental Health Care Centers

GAF

Global Assessment of Functioning

ICD-10

International Classification of Diseases-10

PH

Physical health

P

Psychological

SR

Social Relationships

E

Environment

DSM-IV

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fourth Edition

PANSS

The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale

DAS-s

The World Health Organization Short Disability Assessment Schedule

FSSQ

The Functional Social Support Questionnaire

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laia Mas-Expósito
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juan Antonio Amador-Campos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juana Gómez-Benito
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lluís Lalucat-Jo
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of ResearchCentre d’Higiene Mental Les CortsBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, University of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Department of Methodology, Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Departament de DocènciaFormació, Recerca i Publicacions, Centre d’Higiene Mental Les CortsBarcelonaSpain

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