Aim: This study explored the associations of personal, disease, family, and social factors with quality of life (QoL) in patients with two common types of chronic mental illness (CMI) living in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.
Methods: Using a convenience sample and a cross-sectional design, 714 patients (50.1% male, 49.9% female) with CMI (72.1% schizophrenia and 27.9% affective disorder) and their caregivers were recruited. Demographic information was collected via the following questionnaires: 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12), five-item Brief Symptom Rating Scale (BSRS-5), Caregiver Burden Scale, and Clinical Global Impressions (CGI-S) Scale. Pearson correlations and hierarchical regression analyses were used to predict QoL.
Results: Disease factors accounted for 17–50% of the change in variance. Predictors of low mental subscale scores included the following: high psychological distress and high family burden as well as a history of suicide attempts, negative caregiver attitudes, and living away from home. Disease factors also explained the greatest variance in the physical subscales. Predictors of low physical subscale scores included the following: high psychological distress, age, unemployment, a history of suicide attempts, high family burden, and living alone.
Conclusions: Disease factors were the most important predictors of QoL in patients with CMI. Family factors were more important than social factors on the mental subscales. Differential relationships were also found for the other two dimensions. Together, these results indicate that a wide range of factors improve the QoL in patients with CMI.