Ten-Year Quality-of-Life Outcomes of Patients with Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders: The Relationship with Unmet Needs for CareAuthor(s): Michael S. Ritsner, Alexander Grinshpoon
Purpose: The present study examined the relationship between unmet needs and current as well as long-term quality of life (QOL) of patients with schizophrenia (SZ) and schizoaffective (SA) disorders. Methods: Ninety-five stable SZ/SA patients were evaluated using the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Life Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS), and the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS). At the 10-year evaluation participants also completed the Camberwell Assessment of Need scale. Correlation and multivariate regression analyses were performed. Results: The number of unmet needs negatively correlated with Q-LES-Q domains; however, the predictive value for general quality of life did not reach significant levels controlling for MSPSS and CISS scores. Patterns of individual needs included assistance with psychological distress, daytime activities, welfare benefits, physical health, food, and intimate relationships, and emerged as significant predictors of current general QOL, even after controlling for PANSS, MSPSS, and CISS scores. Patients who had worsened and had dissatisfied courses of general QOL over time expressed many more unmet needs compared to those who were satisfied and had an improved course of QOL. Individual unmet needs concerning daytime activities, psychological distress, psychotic symptoms, information about treatment, company, and money were associated with worsened and dissatisfied general QOL outcomes. Conclusions: Unmet needs of SZ/SA patients show a strong relationship with prior long-term and current quality-of-life outcome. The pattern of individual unmet needs rather than the number of unmet needs had a greater predictive value for current subjective quality of life.