By Mark Cowen
Patients with schizophrenia have significantly lower psychologic well-being compared with mentally healthy individuals, say researchers.
Indeed, Gregory Strauss (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA) and team found that schizophrenia patients had lower scores than mentally healthy individuals in all domains of psychologic well-being.
Interestingly, however, there were no significant differences between the groups regarding self-reported emotional and social well-being.
The findings come from a study of 56 chronic schizophrenia patients and 33 mentally healthy participants (controls).
All of the participants completed the self-report Scales of Psychological Well-Being (SPWB), the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), which assessed emotional well-being, and the Social Well-Being Scale (SWBS).
Patients with schizophrenia were also assessed for symptoms using the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, and the Calgary Depression Scale.
Results showed that schizophrenia patients had significantly lower scores in all six SPWB domains of autonomy (54.27 vs 63.71), environmental mastery (54.90 vs 63.96), personal growth (61.22 vs 68.04), positive relations with others (56.39 vs 64.07), purpose in life (54.94 vs 64.50), and self-acceptance (52.76 vs 64.50).
These between-group differences remained significant after accounting for age, gender, and IQ.
There were no significant differences between the groups regarding SWLS scores and SWBS subscores for social actualization, social contribution, social coherence, and social integration, after adjustment.
Multiple regression analysis revealed that depression and negative symptom levels were significant predictors of psychologic well-being in schizophrenia patients.
"These findings indicate that lower psychological well-being may be characteristic of individuals in the chronic phase of schizophrenia," conclude Strauss and team in Comprehensive Psychiatry.
They add: "Given that many of these constructs share similarities to critical factors identified in effective recovery-oriented services, such as self-direction and empowerment, these findings may inform the development of psychosocial interventions because they suggest that these aspects of well-being may be important new targets."
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