OBJECTIVES: The main aim of the study was to investigate the quality of life and the medicinal and social needs of patients hospitalized with schizophrenia in the Czech Republic to uncover potential issues in these areas.
METHODS: Relevant self-evaluating questionnaires (SQUALA for quality of life; CANSAS for medicinal and social needs) were used in a cohort of hospitalized schizophrenic patients undergoing rehabilitation before discharge from the mental hospital.
RESULTS: Two hundred and forty-four patients (women N=115) aged 18-58 years were involved in the study. The quality of life of hospitalized patients with schizophrenia was subjectively assessed as universally worse in comparison with the general Czech population (p<0.05 in most cases; two-sample Student's t-test), but patients were not wholly critical of their own health status and overestimated its quality (arithmetic mean 63.79 in the patients vs the range of 45.5-59.8 as the norm in the general Czech population). Intimate relations, financial matters, treatment of psychotic symptoms, and sexual life were among the most pressing medicinal and social needs in our study subjects.
CONCLUSION: The results of our study should stimulate psychiatric nurses in their effort not only to detect but also address the problems of schizophrenic patients concerning quality of life and unfulfilled needs. This can be done via education, guidance towards a healthy lifestyle, or providing patients with adequate exercise. Overall this issue is of significant importance in the Czech Republic due to the fact that legislative reform of mental health care emphasizing community care and psychiatric nursing has just been implemented.