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Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2001 Autumn;47(3):67-77.

Quantitative and qualitative aspects of the social network in schizophrenic patients living in the community. Relationship to sociodemographic characteristics and clinical factors and subjective quality of life.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Lund, Sweden.


Quantitative and qualitative aspects of the social network were investigated in a sample of 120 schizophrenic out-patients. Sociodemographic and clinical factors as well as subjective quality of life were investigated as to their relationship to the social network. The Interview Schedule for Social Integration (ISSI) was used to assess social network and Lancashire Quality of Life Profile was used to assess subjective quality of life. Psychopathology was measured by BPRS and psychosocial functioning by GAF. The patients reported a significantly worse social network compared to a normal sample both regarding quantitative and qualitative aspects of the network. Almost half of the patients wanted access to more social contacts. Relatives and friends turned out to be the patient's main source of supportive contacts. More severe negative and positive symptoms were related to a worse social network. Support was found for an association between characteristics of the social network, such as satisfaction with social contacts, and quality of life. The results give reason to suggest that the care system should consider the informal caregivers' situation and focus on interventions, which enhance the patient's satisfaction with social contacts.

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