Current issues in schizophrenia: overview of patient acceptability, functioning capacity and quality of life.
ABSTRACT The increasing interest in the subjective wellbeing and quality of life (QoL) of patients with schizophrenia represents a conceptual extension of therapeutic outcome criteria. For a long time, the reduction of positive symptoms alone was the most important outcome parameter, but the development of atypical antipsychotic drugs in the early 1990s resulted in the adoption of more wide-reaching measures of therapeutic outcome. Patient satisfaction appears to be strongly related to their willingness to be or stay engaged in psychosocial and pharmacological treatment, and therefore to the symptomatic and functional outcome. Existing studies that deal with QoL and subjective wellbeing differ in their methodology and are difficult to compare because of varying underlying concepts of QoL or subjective wellbeing, different assessment scales or small sample sizes. Although QoL is a heterogeneous concept, it is clearly correlated with a number of factors, including illness, medication and stress process-related variables. Various protective factors have been identified; among these are personality traits, the degree of social support and treatment interventions. In clinical studies, atypical antipsychotic agents are associated with greater improvements in QoL and subjective wellbeing than are conventional agents. The reason for this is probably the ability of atypical agents to have a positive impact on factors most associated with QoL, such as negative and affective symptoms and drug tolerability. The most appropriate clinical approach to maximize QoL and subjective wellbeing for patients with schizophrenia is to use atypical antipsychotic drugs as a first-line treatment approach. Ideally, an atypical drug which is known not to have a negative effect on attention, affect or motivation should be chosen.
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ABSTRACT: Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the relative contributions of disorganization and cognitive dysfunction to quality of life (QOL) in patients with stable schizophrenia. Methods A total of 276 consecutive outpatients with stable schizophrenia were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. We performed a mediation analysis to assess the specific effect of disorganization on QOL, as assessed by the Heinrichs–Carpenter Quality of Life Scale (QLS), and the possible mediating role of cognitive dysfunction. Results Our findings were as follows: (i) disorganization was negatively related to the total QLS score; (ii) disorganization was negatively related to two of the four QLS domains, namely the role-functioning domain (occupational/educational) and the intrapsychic functioning domain (e.g., motivation, curiosity, and empathy); and (iii) verbal memory was a partial mediator of the relationship between disorganization and QLS (the total score and the two above-mentioned domains). Conclusions Disorganization demonstrated direct and indirect effects via verbal memory on two domains of functioning, as measured by the QLS. These results highlight the importance of improving disorganization and cognition (particularly verbal memory) to improve the functional outcomes of patients with schizophrenia.Schizophrenia Research 01/2014; · 4.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: AIM: Quality of life (QoL) is increasingly considered an important outcome in health research. We wished to explore the determinants of change in QoL in patients with schizophrenia over the course of a one-year RCT. METHODS: Predictors of change in observer-rated QoL (Quality of Life Scale: QLS) were assessed in 363 patients with schizophrenia during the CUtLASS clinical trial. RESULTS: Change in QLS score over the course of a year correlated with change in psychotic and depressive symptoms and treatment adherence. Linear regression showed that improvement in QoL was predicted by reduction in negative and depressive symptoms and improvement in adherence rating. These three change scores together explained 38% of the variance in QLS change. Exploration of the direction of any possible causal effect, using TETRAD, indicated that improved adherence leads to improved QoL, and that change in depression also leads to QoL change. The relationship between QoL and negative symptoms suggests that greater social activity (reflected as better QoL scores) improves negative symptoms. Such a direct relationship between treatment adherence and QoL has not been reported before. CONCLUSION: Improving adherence to medication would appear to be a key approach to improving measured quality of life in people with schizophrenia.European Psychiatry 06/2013; · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: It has been estimated that as many as two thirds of patients with schizophrenia are unable to perform basic personal and social roles or activities. Occupational functioning and social functioning, as well as independent living, are considered as core domains of patient functioning. Improvement in patient functioning has also been recognized as an important treatment goal in guidelines and an important outcome by regulatory agencies. Nevertheless, information is lacking on how these aspects are being considered by psychiatrists across the world and how they are being assessed and managed. METHODS: The 'Europe, the Middle East and Africa functioning survey' was designed to canvas opinions of psychiatrists across these regions to ascertain their perceptions of the clinical importance, assessment and management of functioning amongst their patients with schizophrenia. The survey comprised 17 questions and was conducted from March to April 2011 in 42 countries. Data collected included the demographics of respondents and their opinions regarding personal and social functioning in patients with schizophrenia. RESULTS: Results were obtained from 4,163 clinicians. Psychiatrists estimated that more than two thirds (70%) of their patients with schizophrenia showed impaired or very poor levels of functioning. The majority of psychiatrists (92%) believed that personal and social functioning was an important treatment goal for patients with schizophrenia, and 91% believed it was an important goal for patients' families. The majority of psychiatrists (55%) assess the personal and social functioning of their patient at each visit; however, 81% reported that they determine the level of functioning through clinical interview and not by using a specific assessment scale. To manage personal and social functioning in their patients, 26% of psychiatrists prefer pharmacological interventions, whereas 46% prefer psychosocial interventions. CONCLUSION: Psychiatrists recognize that functioning is impaired/very poor in patients with schizophrenia, and there is still an important need to address functioning as a main treatment goal for patients with schizophrenia.Annals of General Psychiatry 03/2013; 12(1):8. · 1.57 Impact Factor