Quality of life among dually diagnosed and non-substance-using male schizophrenia outpatients

Hatice Imer Aras, Menekşe Sıla Yazar, Kürşat Altınbaş


Objective. To assess the quality of life (QoL) in an outpatient setting among male patients dually diagnosed with schizophrenia and substance use disorder (SUD), and non-substance-using male schizophrenia patients.

Methods. The study was conducted in an outpatient setting with 52 male schizophrenia patients and 49 male schizophrenia patients with SUD comorbidity, who were admitted to Bakirköy Research and Training Hospital between 1 May 2010 and 30 September 2010. The patients had been in remission for a minimum of 6 months. The subjects were re-evaluated for the persistence of the diagnosis by using the Structural Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders (SCID I) socio-demographic data form, and the World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale Brief Version (WHOQOL-BREF) and positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) were administered to detect the factors affecting diagnostic stability and clinical course.

Results. Schizophrenia patients with no SUD comorbidity had a significantly earlier age of disease onset than the comorbid group. SUD comorbidity in schizophrenia patients leads to increased rates of unemployment and homicidality. WHOQOL-Bref psychological health scores were significantly lower among patients in the comorbidity group. No statistically significant difference was identified between the groups with regard to the PANSS scores.

Conclusions. It is necessary to focus on the treatment challenges for schizophrenia patients with SUD comorbidity, such as the provision of treatment in criminal justice settings, in which a high proportion of such patients are found. 


Dual diagnosis; Comorbidity; Substance use disorder; Quality of life; Schizophrenia

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v19i2.416

Submitted: 28 November 2012
Published: 01 June 2013

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)