The relation between objective and subjective domains of recovery among persons with schizophrenia-related disorders

Schizophr Res. 2011 Sep;131(1-3):133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.05.023. Epub 2011 Jun 12.


In recent years, growing emphasis has been placed on the vision of recovery, which is broadly organized into two types: clinical objective versus personal subjective. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relation between objective clinical recovery as defined by symptom severity and level of functioning, and subjective personal recovery as defined by quality of life, domains of personal confidence and hope, willingness to ask for help, reliance on others and no domination by symptoms. One hundred and fifty-nine persons diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder completed measures of recovery, quality of life, perceived social support and emotional loneliness. Clinicians used the Modified Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Global Assessment Functioning Scale to assess the severity of symptoms and level of functioning. Results revealed no direct correlation between total score of observer ratings of symptoms and total score of subjective self-report of being in recovery. The relationship between total score of symptoms and total score of subjective self-report of recovery was moderated by the age of onset. Magnitude of the self-report of subjective recovery was related to higher levels of reported social support and lower levels of reported loneliness. Finally, analyses suggested that the impact of social support and loneliness upon self-reported recovery was mediated by quality of life. Taken together, results are consistent with literature suggesting that clinical objective recovery is not synonymous with personal subjective recovery yet can be conceptualized as complementary.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Loneliness / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Psychotic Disorders* / psychology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Perception
  • Young Adult