Quality of life in patients with schizophrenia in five European countries: the EPSILON study


Professor José Luis Vázquez-Barquero Professor of Psychiatry, Unidad de Investigación en Psiquiatría Clínica y Social, Hospital Universitario `Marqués de Valdecilla', Universidad de Cantabria, Avda. Valdecilla s/n, 39008 Santander, Spain. E-mail: vazquezb@humv.es


Objective: To compare subjective quality of life (QOL) and objective QOL indicators in patients with schizophrenia from five European sites: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Santander and Verona.

Method: A representative sample of 404 patients with schizophrenia, in contact with mental health services, was randomly selected and evaluated with the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile (EU).

Results: The level of satisfaction in certain domains, religion, family and social relations appears to be associated with local style of living and culture while work, finances, and safety were more independent from local variations. In addition to the severity of symptoms, frequency of contacts with family, friendship and age appear as predictors of QOL, all of them influenced by the characteristics of the surroundings.

Conclusion: The centres participating in the study presented differences in subjective measures of QOL, objective indicators and also in service provision and styles of living.