Subjective quality of life in At-Risk Mental State for psychosis patients: relationship with symptom severity and functional impairment
The understanding of factors related to poor subjective quality of life (sQoL) in early psychosis patients is important for both research and treatment efforts. This study examined how sQoL is associated with age at onset of prodromal symptoms, duration of untreated illness (DUI), symptom severity, premorbid functioning and current functional impairment in At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) for psychosis patients.
Forty ARMS patients were assessed for sQoL, symptom severity, premorbid functioning, and social and role functioning.
As expected, a large number of significant and negative correlations between sQoL domains and several symptom dimensions emerged, especially for negative symptoms, behavioural change and depression. Poor premorbid functioning in late adolescence was associated with impairments in the psychological health and social relationship domains of sQoL. Current functional impairment was associated with all sQoL domains. Neither age at onset of prodromal symptoms nor DUI was related with sQoL.
Findings indicate that different domains of sQoL are differentially and meaningfully associated with symptom severity and functional impairment, suggesting that greater symptom severity and poor functioning are already related with decreased sQoL in the ARMS for psychosis stage. Furthermore, findings highlight the importance of examining functional impairment and affective-motivational symptoms in future research on sQoL in ARMS populations due to their strong relationship with poor sQoL. Finally, findings underscore the importance of addressing the social and occupational dysfunctions already present in early psychosis with psychosocial interventions.