Daily time use among individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and unaffected controls: Results from the DiAPAson multicentric project

Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2023 Dec;46(4):322-334. doi: 10.1037/prj0000576. Epub 2023 Aug 17.


Objective: In the framework of daily time use, physical activity, and interpersonal relationships in patients with schizophrenia project, we aimed to investigate (a) within and between-group differences in daily time use of individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs) and unaffected controls, stratifying them by age, sex, and employment status; (b) the associations between daily time use, the severity of psychiatric symptoms, and psychosocial functioning amongst those with SSD.

Method: From October 2020 to October 2021, 306 outpatients and 312 individuals living in residential facilities (RFs) with SSD were recruited from 37 centers across Italy and compared on a measure of daily time use with 113 people unaffected by mental health problems. Statistical analyses included chi-squared tests, analysis of variance tests, t tests, Pearson's correlations, and nonparametric corresponding tests.

Results: Individuals with SSD spent significantly more time in sedentary activities, leisure, and religious activities than unaffected controls, independent of age, sex, and employment status. Unaffected controls and outpatients spent more time engaged in productive activities than patients in RFs. Among the latter group, time spent in productive activities decreased significantly after 45 years of age, while time spent in self-care activities increased. Spending time engaged in sedentary activities was associated with greater severity of psychiatric symptoms and lower levels of functioning.

Conclusions and implications for practice: This study provides a deep understanding of how individuals with SSD spend their time and how this is associated with the severity of their mental health problems. These findings highlight the need for proactive rehabilitation programs to promote productive occupation and social inclusion of people with SSD. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2024 APA, all rights reserved).

MeSH terms

  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Italy
  • Schizophrenia*

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