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Illness Intrusiveness and Subjective Well-Being in Schizophrenia

Bettazzoni, Monica PhD*; Zipursky, Robert B. MD†‡§; Friedland, Judith PhD; Devins, Gerald M. PhD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2008 - Volume 196 - Issue 11 - p 798-805
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e31818b6457
Original Article

This study evaluated the extent to which schizophrenia and its treatment interferes with participation in valued life activities and its impact on subjective well-being. The Illness Intrusiveness Ratings Scale was completed by 78 individuals with schizophrenia on 3 measurement occasions. Clinicians working with participants, plus a relative/friend of each participant also provided independent ratings of the person. The Illness Intrusiveness Ratings Scale displayed internal consistency (coefficient α = 0.82), and temporal stability across 1 day (r = 0.89), 1 week (r = 0.51), and 1 month (r = 0.78). Reported intrusiveness was high (M = 50.5) and was among the highest compared with populations with other serious medical and psychiatric illnesses. Ratings correlated with staff and family/friends’ ratings of intrusiveness (r = 0.33 and r = 0.40), measures of symptomatology (average r = 0.25), and subjective well-being (average r = 0.41). Path analysis indicated that lifestyle disruption mediates the impact of symptoms and treatment on well-being. Implications for these findings and future directions for research are discussed.

*Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto; †Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton; ‡St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton; §Hamilton Health Sciences, Hamilton; ∥Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto; ¶University Health Network, Toronto; and #Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The research was supported in part by an institutional summer research grant, funded by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Council (M.B., principal investigator) and by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institutes through a Senior Investigator Award (to G.M.D.).

This research was conducted in partial fulfillment of Dr. Bettazzoni's doctoral thesis research under the direction of Dr. Devins in the Institute of Medical Sciences at the University of Toronto. Drs. Friedland and Zipursky were members of the thesis supervisory committee.

Send reprint requests to Dr. M. Bettazzoni, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Unit 4-301, 1001 Queen Street Toronto, ON Canada M6J 1H4. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.