2003 issue 3


Volume 12, issue 3

Original article

Relationship between schizophrenic patients’ subjective quality of life and their functioning assessed by themselves, their families and therapists

1. Zakładu Rehabilitacji Psychiatrycznej Instytutu Psychiatrii i Neurologii w Warszawie
Postępy Psychiatrii i Neurologii, 2003, 12 (3), 293-309
Keywords: schizophrenia, quality of life, daily life functioning


Aims – An answer was sought in the study lo the question whether schizophrenic patients' subjective quality of life is related to the level of their functioning in daily life.

Subjects – Participants in the study were 29 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia attending day wards of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology or of the "Drewnica" hospital, and the same number of their family members.

Method – The patients were examined using two self-report questionnaires measuring their subjective quality of life (the WHOQOL-BREF) and functioning in everyday life (the Daily Life Functioning Scale from the questionnaire by Tempier and Mercier). The patients' .functioning level was assessed both by family members using the Daily Life Coping Skills Assessment by Wallace et al., and by therapists using the GAS.

Results – Correlation between the patients' subjective quality of life (the WHOQOL-BREF) and their functioning as assessed either by therapists oar by family members turned out to be statistically insignificant. However; their self-rated functioning was much more strongly related to their subjective quality of life. The patients' self-rated functioning was related to their self-satisfaction, satisfaction with their health and life, availability of various resources (not only financial) enabling them to live independently, and to the level of vigour (life energy) they experienced.

Discussion – In the group under study a significant relationship was found between the patients' subjective quality of life and their self-rated functioning level, while the former was not related to the level of their functioning assessed by either families or therapists. Except for money, the other constituents of subjective quality of life significantly related to their self-rated functioning level were "uncountable" and indefinable – difficult to assess adequately by an external observer.

Conclusions – The research findings again highlight the difference in the assessment of schizophrenic patients' quality of life by patients themselves and by healthy people. If we really want to improve the patients' quality of life, then in our planning of their rehabilitation we must take into account their perceptions and feelings, and not only the norms currently in force.