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

Schizophrenia Research

PubMedID: 23693066

Meesters PD, Comijs HC, De Haan L, Smit JH, Eikelenboom P, Beekman AT, Stek ML. Subjective quality of life and its determinants in a catchment area based population of elderly schizophrenia patients. Schizophr Res. 2013;147(2-3):275-80.
BACKGROUND
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.

METHODS
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.

RESULTS
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.

CONCLUSION
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.