Aims and objectives: To examine the level of quality of life in individuals with schizophrenia and to test its association with socio-demographic, clinical and psychosocial characteristics.
Background: Quality of life has been a focus of concern in mental health care, yet the level of quality of life and its determinants for individuals with schizophrenia are not well known.
Design: Cross-sectional, descriptive design.
Methods: A total of 148 individuals with schizophrenia participated in the study. A demographic information sheet, the 18-item Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Chinese Health Questionnaires, the Mutuality Scale and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale, brief version, were used to collect data. Data were analysed with descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlation and stepwise multiple linear regression.
Results: Most of participants were single, unemployed, had a low education level and were supported financially by family. Quality of life was positively correlated with age of mental illness onset, mutuality, employment status and monthly household income, whereas it was negatively associated with the length of mental illness, symptom severity and health status. Health status, mutuality, symptom severity, monthly household income and employment status were found to be key significant predictors with mutuality having the greatest effect on quality of life.
Conclusions: The findings increase our understanding of socio-demographic, clinical and psychosocial characteristics influencing the degree of quality of life in individuals with schizophrenia. Incorporation of families and communities into the treatment programmes would enhance patients' capabilities of social integration and satisfaction with their lives.
Relevance to clinical practice: Health care providers should make use of community-oriented intervention programmes that aim to strengthen psychosocial functioning. Particularly, programmes that enhance health status and mutuality should be identified and developed for both individuals with schizophrenia and their families.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.