Subjective versus interviewer assessment of global quality of life among persons with schizophrenia living in the community: A Nordic multicentre study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Few studies have investigated differences between subjective and externally assessed quality of life in individuals with a severe mental illness. In a sample of 387 patients with schizophrenia living in the community the present study investigated the association between subjective and interviewer-rated quality of life, clinical and sociodemographic factors related to the two assessments, and if discrepancies in the assessments were related to any clinical or social features of the patients. Method: The study was a Nordic multicentre study with a cross-sectional design. Instruments used were the Lancashire Quality of Life Profile, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Interview Schedule for Social Interaction, Camberwell Assessment of Needs and General Assessment of Functioning. Results: The correlation between subjective and interviewer-rated quality of life was moderate (ICC=0.33). More severe affective symptoms, fewer emotional relations and a lower monthly income were related to poorer subjectively rated quality of life but in a stepwise multiple regression analysis accounted for only 14.1 of the variance. Poorer interviewer-rated quality of life was mainly related to a more severe psychopathology but also to a lower monthly income, fewer emotional relations and not being employed. Together these factors accounted for 45.5 of the variance. A greater discrepancy between the subjective and the interviewer rating was found in patients with less affective symptoms, unemployment, and a better social network. Conclusion: Only a moderate correlation between subjective and interviewer-assessed global quality of life was found, implying that the sources of assessment differed, as was also shown in subsequent regression models. It is concluded that both perspectives on the patient's quality of life may be valuable for treatment planning, especially in cases where differences in quality of life assessment related to the patient's psychopathology may be expected.


  • A Bengtsson-Tops
  • Lars Hansson
  • M Sandlund
  • O Bjarnason
  • J Korkeila
  • L Merinder
  • Lise-Lotte Nilsson
  • KW Sorgaard
  • HR Vinding
  • T Middelboe
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nursing
  • Clinical Medicine


  • subjective versus external assessment, schizophrenia, quality of life
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-229
JournalQuality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Psychiatry/Primary Care/Public Health (013240500), Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)