OBJECTIVES: Schizophrenia is a complex and invalidating
disease with a wide range of symptoms and often social
exclusion. Patients’ quality of life is heavily impaired.
The associations between the different symptoms and the
QoL, as well as the possible impact of the patient management
are still not well known. Our objective was to
study the associations between health status, quality of
life, general functioning and patient management in
schizophrenic patients. METHODS: 238 schizophrenic
patients were assessed in a cross sectional study with the
Lehman QoL scale, EuroQoL, SF-36, Calgary Depression
Scale, CGI, GAF and PANSS. At the same time the patient
management was assessed. A progressive approach
using graphical chain models was adopted to determine
the strength of the associations between the different
variables. RESULTS: Depression was strongly associated
with the subjective dimensions of QoL, the utility of EuroQoL
and with the mental health sub-score of SF-36.
The schizophrenic symptoms (PANSS) seem to have no
direct impact on the QoL, but only through their association
to depression and impaired functioning (GAF).
Other factors that seem to have and impact on the QoL
are recent hospitalisation and the type of antipsychotic
drug prescribed, atypical antipsychotics seem more favourable
compared to typical. CONCLUSIONS: Depression
seems to be the major factor impairing the quality of life
of schizophrenic patients.