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The consequences on quality of life and sexuality in chronic female schizophrenic patients.

The consequences on quality of life and sexuality in chronic female schizophrenic patients.

The concept of quality of life covers various objective and subjective domains (among the latest are wellbeing, social adjustment, sexual satisfaction), being an indicator of outcome. The intensity of sexual, although present already at the onset, dysfunctions increases following long-term antipsychotic treatment. The examination of various aspects of sexuality in chronic female schizophrenic patients and the evaluation of quality of life.

50 female patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia were selected and treated with conventional and atypical antipsychotics. These patients were compared to 50 matched controls. Assessment tools: PANSS, UKU sexual side effects component, GAF, female SDBQ, WHOQOL-BREF.
The patients displayed a range of characteristics in the field of sexual experience. These include hyposexuality and dissatisfaction with their sexual life. Many had also experienced sexual abuse, and few used contraception, thus indicating a high level of sexual conservatism. The evolution of schizophrenia affected their professional and marital status, as well as their general level of functioning and their quality of life. It was found that even novel antipsychotics are responsible for sexual side effects comparable to those produced by conventional antipsychotics.
This direct investigation of sexuality in this particular group, could, in combination with the management of information, symptoms, and side effects, lead to long term acceptance of – and adherence to – antipsychotic medication by sexually active persons suffering from schizophrenia. The overall quality of life of these individuals, as well as their general functioning, could thus be improved.

Conference: WAS Glasgow 2011
Areas of Interest / Categories: Psychosis, Schizophrenia, Sexuality, WAS 2011

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