Nigerian Medical Practitioner

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Quality of life in patients with schizophrenia in Nigeria

AB Makanjuola, AB Adeponle, AO Obembe


This study was carried out to determine the degree of satisfaction with various aspects of life (or lack of it) in patients with schizophrenia, to compare QOL at onset of illness (first episode) with QOL at time of study, and to identify socio-demographic and clinical variables that may predict QOL. Using WHOQOL-Bref, all consenting schizophrenia patients who satisfied the inclusion criteria were interviewed both at the time of study and by changing the tenses of the instrument, at time of onset of illness. Scores of the overall quality of life and general health and the other five domains of QOL were then compared. It was found that over the course of illness, individual living with major mental illness such as schizophrenia have an appreciably good objective QOL and social outcome in all areas of life, except for the social relationships domain (marital status and occupational status). However, respondents experienced increased subjective dissatisfaction in all QOL domains over the cause of their illness. There was a poor correlation between objective indices and subjective QOL. Gender and occupational status were the socio-demographic and clinical variables that correlated with subjective QOL. It was concluded that clinicians and policy makers should not limit treatment interventions to reducing levels of psychopathology and/or enhancing levels of functioning alone, but also improve patients' subjective well being and overall QOL. Rehabilitation and intervention programme designs should take cognizance of the importance of cognitive constructs such as inner feelings, self-efficacy, self-esteem, task coping behaviors and perceived social support.

Key words: Quality of life (QOL), schizophrenia, Nigeria

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 48(2) 2005: 36–42
AJOL African Journals Online