Treatment outcomes in schizophrenia: qualitative study of the views of family carers
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BACKGROUND: Schizophrenia is a complex, heterogeneous disorder, with highly variable treatment outcomes, and relatively little is known about what is important to patients. The aim of the study was to understand treatment outcomes informal carers perceive to be important to people with schizophrenia. METHOD: Qualitative interview study with 34 individuals and 8 couples who care for a person with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed by a thematic framework based approach. RESULTS: Carers described well-recognised outcomes of importance, alongside more novel outcomes relating to: Safety (of the patient/others); insight (e.g. into non-reality of psychotic phenomena); respite from fear, distress or pain; socially acceptable behaviour; getting out of the house; attainment of life milestones; changes in personality and/or temperament; reduction of vulnerability to stress; and several aspects of physical health. CONCLUSIONS: These findings have the potential to inform the development of patient- or carer- focused outcome measures that take into account the full range of domains that carers feel are important for patients.
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