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01-02-2008 | Uitgave 1/2008

Quality of Life Research 1/2008

Subjective quality of life in outpatients with schizophrenia in Hong Kong and Beijing: relationship to socio-demographic and clinical factors

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 1/2008
Yu-Tao Xiang, Yong-Zhen Weng, Chi-Ming Leung, Wai-Kwong Tang, Gabor S. Ungvari



This study compared the subjective quality of life (SQOL) in schizophrenia patients living with their families in Hong Kong (HK) and Beijing (BJ) and explored the relationship between SQOL and basic socio-demographic and clinical factors.

Materials and methods

Two hundred and sixty-four clinically stable outpatients with schizophrenia were randomly selected in HK and 258 counterparts matched according to age, sex, age at onset, and length of illness in BJ. SQOL and psychiatric status were assessed with standard rating instruments.


There was no significant difference in any of SQOL domains between the two cohorts after controlling for potentially confounding variables. Positive, depressive and anxiety symptoms and drug-induced extrapyramidal side effects (EPS) were all significantly correlated with SQOL. Multiple regression analysis revealed that only depressive symptoms predicted all SQOL domains in both groups. Having removed depressive symptoms from the model, positive symptoms predicted all domains, anxiety predicted all but social domains, use of benzodiazepines (BZD) predicted all but physical domains, EPS predicted physical domain, and history of suicide predicted social domain in HK; anxiety predicted all domains, positive symptoms predicted all but physical domains, EPS, use of BZD and history of suicide all predicted physical domains, and length of illness predicted environmental domain in BJ.


Despite considerable differences between the two sites in terms of health care delivery and the economic conditions of the subjects, SQOL did not differ between HK and BJ. The conclusion is in line with previous studies that suggested that patients’ SQOL was independent of their living standard as long as it reached a certain minimum level. SQOL was more strongly related to the severity of depressive symptoms and had weak association with socio-demographic factors.

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