Background. The patients' ability to appraise their
quality of life in schizophrenia was studied by
examining the reliability and the validity of self-rated quality of
Methods. Sixty-three symptomatically stable patients with
schizophrenia (DSM-IV) receiving
maintenance treatment were evaluated over a 4-week period. The
subjects were asked to appraise
their quality of life at weekly intervals on a single item global
quality of life measure, as well as the
self-administered sickness impact profile. The patients' quality
of life was also rated by a clinician
using the social performance schedule and the global assessment
scale of functioning; and clinical
aspects such as the severity of psychotic symptoms, neurocognitive
deficits, dose of medications,
and side effects were documented with standardized measures.
Results. The results indicated that the patients'
self-reports were highly consistent over the 4 weeks,
and the quality of life ratings correlated significantly with the
clinician's estimates. The patients'
quality of life was predictably influenced by the severity of their
symptoms, side effects, cognitive
deficits and the dose of their antipsychotic medication, but the
reliability of their reports was not materially affected by these factors.
Conclusions. It is concluded that clinically compliant and
stable patients with schizophrenia can
evaluate and report their quality of life with a high degree of
reliability and concurrent validity,
implying that self-report measures are potentially useful tools in
clinical trials and outcome studies.