Peer-Reviewed Publication

A study on burden of illness of persistent symptoms in schizophrenia

Burden of illness of people with persistent symptoms of schizophrenia: A multinational cross-sectional study

Nordstroem AL, Talbot D, Bernasconi C, Berardo CG, Lalonde J.


Background: Few studies have examined the impact of persistent symptoms of schizophrenia, especially with respect to patient-reported outcomes (PROs), carer burden and health economic impact.

Aims: Analyse data relating to burden and severity of illness, functional impairment and quality of life for patients with persistent symptoms of schizophrenia.

Methods: A cohort of stable outpatients with persistent symptoms of schizophrenia across seven countries were assessed in a multicentre, non-interventional, cross-sectional survey and retrospective medical record review using PRO questionnaires, clinical rating scales and carer questionnaires.

Results: Overall, 1,421 patients and 687 carers were enrolled. Approximately two-thirds of patients had moderate/mild schizophrenia with more severe negative symptoms predominating. Patients showed impaired personal/social functioning and unsuitability for work correlated with various patient factors, most notably symptom-related assessments. Quality-of-life assessments showed 25% to ≥30% of patients had problems with mobility, washing or dressing. Carer burden was also considerable, with carers having to devote an average of 20.5 hours per week and notable negative impact on quality-of-life measures. Healthcare resource utilisation for in-hospital, outpatient and other care provider visits was significant.

Conclusion: These results demonstrate the significant burden of schizophrenia for patients, carers and society and highlight the need for improved treatment approaches.