Improving QoL in patients with schizophrenia



Comment by Dr. William MacEwan

In recent years, the goals of schizophrenia management have moved beyond the traditional model of treating positive and negative symptoms to a more holistic approach that emphasizes functional recovery, psychosocial functioning and quality of life (QoL) (Juckel & Morosini. Curr Opin Psychiatry 2008;21:630-639). Indeed, over a decade ago, Naber and colleagues proposed that quality of life should be considered as important as psychopathology in managing patients with schizophrenia (Naber et al. Schizophr Res 2001;50:79-88). To be sure, achieving symptomatic remission with antipsychotic medications is the necessary first step to functional recovery (Kokaçya et al. Noro Psikiyatr Ars 2016;53:328-333), and the prevention of clinical relapses will have the greatest impact on QoL (Briggs et al. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2008;6:105-13). A caveat, however, is that clinical effectiveness alone may not necessarily translate to improvements in QoL and patient self-rated life satisfaction, as the Clinical Antipsychotic Trial of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study reported (Fervaha et al. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 2014;24:1078-1085).

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