Subjective quality of life and its determinants in a catchment area based population of elderly schizophrenia patients

Paul D. Meesters, Hannie C. Comijs, Lieuwe de Haan, Johannes H. Smit, Piet Eikelenboom, Aartjan T. F. Beekman, Max L. Stek

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Subjective quality of life (SQOL) is an established outcome measure in schizophrenia. In spite of the substantial proportion of elderly in the total schizophrenia population, evaluation of their SQOL and its determinants has been scarce and findings from epidemiological samples are lacking. We assessed SQOL in elderly Dutch patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (n=107; mean age 68 years), treated within a psychiatric catchment area. Demographic, clinical and social variables were evaluated for their impact on SQOL. The mean SQOL score was 4.83, moderately surpassing the midpoint of the SQOL scale. Nearly half of all patients (47.7%) reported an overall favorable SQOL. Of the total variance in SQOL, clinical variables explained 50%, and social variables explained 16%, while demographic factors did not contribute. In multivariable analysis, less self-reported depressive symptoms, worse global neurocognition, and higher observer-based level of social functioning significantly predicted a higher SQOL, explaining 53% of the total variance. The relatively high level of SQOL in this epidemiological sample of elderly patients is in line with what has been reported for both older and younger schizophrenia populations. Depressive symptoms are a robust predictor of SQOL in late life schizophrenia, clearly outweighing psychotic symptoms. This finding has major clinical relevance, as depression is amenable to therapeutic intervention
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-280
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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