The importance of social comparison for high levels of subjective quality of life in chronic schizophrenic patients

Centre for Psychiatry, Justus Liebig University, Giessen, Germany.
Quality of Life Research (Impact Factor: 2.49). 02/2000; 9(5):481-9. DOI: 10.1023/A:1008938011554
Source: PubMed


In schizophrenic patients, quality of life (QoL) studies often find high levels of general life satisfaction and satisfaction in various life domains despite deprived living conditions. Therefore, the usefulness of QoL as an outcome indicator has been questioned. Since social comparison processes have been postulated to be related to the level of satisfaction, this hypothesis was analysed empirically by the present study in schizophrenic patients. Satisfaction and social comparisons of 148 schizophrenic inpatients and 66 mentally healthy controls were examined with regard to the domains 'health' and 'family' by means of a standardised interview. The schizophrenic patients had a history of either long-term (n = 75) or short-term (n = 73) restricted and deprived living conditions. Long-term patients showed significantly higher satisfaction levels than short-term patients. They compared themselves predominantly laterally or downwards with fellow inpatients. Significant relationships between the direction of social comparisons and satisfaction ratings were found in all three samples. Social comparisons proved to be important for the level of satisfaction in schizophrenic patients. Results indicate that experiences of restricted and deprived living conditions induce accommodation processes and response-shifts that should be taken into account in the interpretation of quality-of-life data.

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    • "A third line of research on the relationship between community and quality of life has focused on social networks and connections between individuals and other members of the communities in which they live. Studies have demonstrated the importance of social comparison as a means through which individuals evaluate their own state of QOL relative to standards among communities of individuals within which they are embedded (Beaumont and Kenealy 2004; Franz et al. 2000). Fowler and Christakis (2008) found that frequency of interaction with other persons who are " happy " is a predictor of individual happiness. "
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    ABSTRACT: Individual quality of life (QOL) is a critical foundation of stable and cohesive societies. This research examines QOL among Iowa farmers, who as a group have seen their numbers decline precipitously over the past decades as the farm economy has undergone major restructuring processes. Farm families are nested in rural communities, many of which have also experienced persistent population loss and economic decline over the same period. A multilevel modeling approach is employed to examine determinants of subjective QOL over time, using 29 years of longitudinal data. Results point to positive relationships between household income, community vitality, and farm family QOL. Individual stress and economic dependence on farming were negatively associated with QOL. The finding that community vitality is a critical determinant of farm family quality of life supports long-standing appeals to increase investment in community development efforts.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2012
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    • "Still, it is being recognized that HRQOL is dependent upon culture and is an evaluation of life based on one's particular value or belief system about the meaning of life (Hyland 1997). Furthermore, recent studies have shown that HRQOL of schizophrenia patients is affected by comparisons within these patients' own social networks (Franz et al. 2000). We, thus, aimed to study the HRQOL and its determinants for schizophrenia outpatients compared to general practice outpatients living in the community in Singapore (population approximately 4 million). "
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    ABSTRACT: Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important outcome indicator of healthcare that has been little studied in East Asia, where, culturally, there is greater family interdependence than in the West. We aimed to study the HRQOL of schizophrenia outpatients compared to general practice outpatients, and to examine determinants of schizophrenia HRQOL in our community. The HRQOL of 94 schizophrenia and 90 general practice outpatients was assessed using the COOP/WONCA chart. Clinical status, demographics, medication dosages, extrapyramidal side-effects, and frequency of personal, family and social functioning were assessed using standardized questionnaires. Some 90% of schizophrenia outpatients still lived with their immediate families, and the majority were single, unemployed, and rarely engaged in social activities. They had poorer satisfaction with overall HRQOL compared to general practice outpatients. Using stepwise linear regression analysis, poorer schizophrenia overall HRQOL was predicted by dissatisfaction with and poorer participation in family relationships, dissatisfaction with emotional well-being and male gender [R(2) = 0.40, p = 0.040; F(4, 5.1) = 14.3, p < 0.001]. Strained family relationships appeared to be an important contributor to poorer schizophrenia HRQOL in our East Asian community. This could possibly be related to the narrowing of social-occupational functioning and its burden on the family.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004 · Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
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    • "msal tedavi giriþimleri uygulanmaktadýr (Heinssen ve ark. 2000, Yýldýz ve ark. 2005). Son yýllarda þizofrenik bozukluklarda psikososyal yaklaþýmlarýn uygulanmasýnda ve bunlarýn etkisiyle ilgili araþtýrmalarda hýzlý bir artýþ vardýr. Yeni teknikler geliþtirilmekte, kontrollü çalýþmalarla bunlarýn etkinlikleri araþtýrýlmaktadýr (Aker ve Yazýcý 2000, Franz ve ark. 2000, Heinsen ve ark. 2000, Hogart ve ark. 2004, Üçok ve ark. 2002, Zimmer ve ark. 2007). Þizofrenik bozukluklarýn tedavisinde kullanýlan psikososyal yaklaþýmlar arasýnda aile psikoeðitimi, bireysel psikoterapi, grup psikoterapisi, sosyal beceri eðitimi, iþe uyumlandýrma programlarý ve biliþsel davranýþçý tedaviler yer almaktadýr. Hepsinde d"

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