Objectives: The aim of this study was to elucidate, whether shift from first generation antipsychotics (FGA) to olanzapine can affect health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of residually symptomatic schizophrenic outpatients.
Methods: Patients were randomized to either olanzapine or to continuation on their FGA. The 15D-measured HRQoL at baseline and end-point (after 12 weeks) was compared.
Results: Patients (n = 21) randomized to olanzapine achieved better HRQoL than those (n = 21) who continued on their FGA. This difference on the 15D (0.048 on a 0–1 scale; p = .037) was clinically important and comparable to that resulting from common surgical interventions, for example, hip or knee replacement.
Conclusions: HRQoL of stable outpatients with residual symptoms or adverse effects may improve substantially after shift from FGAs to olanzapine.