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Acta Psychiatr Scand Suppl. 2006;(429):46-50.

Determinants of quality of life in people with severe mental illness.

Author information

1
Department of Health Sciences, Division of Nursing Lund University, Lund, Sweden. lars.hansson@omv.lu.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this article was to review some methodological issues in this field and give an overview of empirical research findings with a special focus on factors associated with or affecting subjective quality of life in people with a severe mental illness.

METHOD:

A selective review of relevant scientific literature on quality of life in severe mental illness was conducted.

RESULTS:

Subjective quality of life in people with a severe mental illness is only to a lesser extent related to external life conditions. Major determinants are psychopathology, especially symptoms of depression and anxiety, and aspects of the social network. Personality related factors such as self-esteem are also influential. Comparative studies have further shown that patients in community care settings have a better subjective quality of life than patients in hospital settings.

CONCLUSION:

Efforts to improve subjective quality of life in people with severe mental illness should include a careful monitoring of depressive and anxiety symptoms, and pay particular attention to assessment of and interventions against unmet needs. Further, such interventions should stress a strengthening of the social support of the clients. It is also important to pay attention to mediators of changes in subjective quality of life such as self-esteem, mastery, autonomy, and self-efficacy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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