Quality of Life in Community-Dwelling Patients With Schizophrenia in China
The aim of this study was to assess Chinese schizophrenia patients' quality of life (QOL) and identify its demographic and clinical correlates. A random sample of 540 community-dwelling schizophrenia patients was interviewed using standardized assessment instruments. The patients' basic sociodemographic and clinical data and QOL were collected. Compared with the general population, patients had significantly lower scores in the physical and psychological QOL domains. Multivariate analyses showed that better social support independently predicted higher QOL in all domains, whereas more severe positive symptoms predicted worse psychological and environmental domains. Overall psychopathology predicted both worse physical and psychological domains; depressive symptoms and being married predicted worse physical and social QOL, respectively. Our results suggest that therapeutic and psychosocial interventions alleviating positive and depressive symptoms and improving poor social support and marriage-related problems in Chinese patients with schizophrenia might be of considerable benefit in improving their QOL.
Available from: Ying Chun Zeng
- "Higher scores indicate better social support. The SSRS was widely used in assessing psychiatric inpatient and community-dwelling schizophrenia patients (Xiang et al., 2012; Zhou et al., 2012). In this study, Cronbach's alpha for the entire scale was 0.78. "
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ABSTRACT: This study aims to describe generic and disease-specific quality of life (QOL) and its predictors among Chinese inpatients with schizophrenia. A total of 209 subjects participated in this study: 121 men and 88 women. Their ages ranged from 18 to 64, with a mean age of 33.85 (S.D.=10.84). The total scores of generic and disease-specific QOL were statistically significant, correlated with patients׳ total symptom severity scores and social support scores (all P values less than 0.01). Multiple regression analysis revealed that monthly household income and subjective social support were statistically significant predictors of generic and disease-specific QOL. Duration of hospitalization, support use degree, negative and general psychopathology symptoms were additional significant predictors of disease-specific QOL. This study suggests the importance of improving subjective social support in order to promote generic and disease-specific QOL. Controlling negative and general psychopathology symptoms and improving support use degree could additionally enhance the disease-specific QOL in patients with schizophrenia.
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Available from: Liang Zhou
- "Approximately three-fourths of people with schizophrenia have ongoing disability due to relapses . Compared with the general population, schizophrenia patients have significantly lower scores in physical and psychological QoL (Quality of Life) domains . "
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Strict compliance with prescribed medication is the key to reducing relapses in schizophrenia. As villagers in China lack regular access to psychiatrists to supervise compliance, we propose to train village 'doctors' (i.e., villagers with basic medical training and currently operating in villages across China delivering basic clinical and preventive care) to manage rural patients with schizophrenia with respect to compliance and monitoring symptoms. We hypothesize that with the necessary training and proper oversight, village doctors can significantly improve drug compliance of villagers with schizophrenia.
We will conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial in 40 villages in Liuyang, Hunan Province, China, home to approximately 400 patients with schizophrenia. Half of the villages will be randomized into the treatment group (village doctor, or VD model) wherein village doctors who have received training in a schizophrenia case management protocol will manage case records, supervise drug taking, educate patients and families on schizophrenia and its treatment, and monitor patients for signs of relapse in order to arrange prompt referral. The other 20 villages will be assigned to the control group (case as usual, or CAU model) wherein patients will be visited by psychiatrists every two months and receive free antipsychotic medications under an on-going government program, Project 686. These control patients will receive no other management or follow up from health workers. A baseline survey will be conducted before the intervention to gather data on patient's socio-economic status, drug compliance history, and clinical and health outcome measures. Data will be re-collected 6 and 12 months into the intervention. A difference-in-difference regression model will be used to detect the program effect on drug compliance and other outcome measures. A cost-effectiveness analysis will also be conducted to compare the value of the VD model to that of the CAU group.
Lack of specialists is a common problem in resource-scarce areas in China and other developing countries. The results of this experiment will provide high level evidence on the role of health workers with relatively limited medical training in managing severe psychiatric disease and other chronic conditions in developing countries.
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