A survey of social outcome in schizophrenia in Tasmania
Kirkby, KC and Daniels, BA and Jones, IH and McInnes, M, A survey of social outcome in schizophrenia in Tasmania, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 31, (3) pp. 405-410. ISSN 0004-8674 (1997) [Refereed Article]
Objective: To survey the social outcome of patients with schizophrenia attending State mental health facilities in southern Tasmania. Method: Using the Statewide Mental Health Register, patients using inpatient and outpatient facilities who received a diagnosis of schizophrenia between 1981 and 1988 were identified (n = 771), and demographic and illness measures, and admissions and length of inpatient stay were compiled. The Life Skills Profile (LSP) was completed by mental health personnel for the 247 who were regular attenders or inpatients in 1991. Results: Social morbidity as indexed by the LSP was highest in psychiatric hospital inpatients and patients in long-term rehabilitation programs, and lower in patients attending community centres. The majority of patients in suburban settings and attending community centres lived with their families, whereas patients in the inner city or in the rehabilitation service were mainly in hostel accommodation or living alone. Patients with schizophrenia attending State services were of a similar age range but had a longer duration of illness and more admissions, and had spent more days in hospital than patients who were not in regular contact with the service. Conclusions: The distribution of social morbidity in schizophrenia confirms that the public health system is supporting a group with high social morbidity. Patients with the highest morbidity are receiving the highest levels of care and intervention.