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Quality of Life in Patients with Schizophrenia

Quality of life (QOL) in patients with schizophrenia is significantly lower than healthy controls, a new study found. The meta-analysis compared QOL between the groups with a focus on standardized measures. 15 case-control studies with 2,195 patients with schizophrenia and 1,508 healthy controls were included. Researchers found:

  • The World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL)/WHOQOL-BREF score was significantly lower in physical health, psychological health, social relationships, and environmental domains in the schizophrenia group vs healthy controls.
  • The Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) score was significantly lower in both physical and mental health domains in the schizophrenia group vs healthy controls.
  • Age, male gender, illness duration, and income level have significant moderating effects on QOL.


Dong M, Lu L, Zhang YS, et al. Quality of life in schizophrenia: A meta-analysis of comparative studies. [Published online ahead of print May 22, 2019]. Psychiatr Q. doi: 10.1007/s11126-019-09633-4.


Serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia have multiple negative effects on individuals with these conditions including shortened life-span, impairments in achieving educational and occupational goals as well as premature and extensive medical burden. This study used the power of multiple studies, case control methodology and a rigorous standard to assess quality of life (QOL) among individuals with schizophrenia. Findings demonstrate that schizophrenia is associated with burden on multiple domains of QOL. Care approaches that might improve outcomes for people with schizophrenia thus likely need to target a spectrum of life domains such as physical health and self-management and social support and functioning as well as the more typical interventions that address psychiatric symptoms. —Martha Sajatovic, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and of Neurology; Willard Brown Chair in Neurological Outcomes Research; Director, Neurological and Behavioral Outcomes Center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center; Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.