Correlations between parameters of the social network and treatment outcomes of people suffering from schizophrenia seven years after the first hospitalization
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Arch Psych Psych 2008;10(2):21–29
Aim. The study investigated correlations between selected parameters of social networks of 64 patients with schizophrenia (DSM III), and the aims of treatment such as: motivation to receive treatment, insight, compliance in taking medication, satisfaction with treatment, and treatment outcomes in the area of clinical, social and family functioning seven years after the first hospital admission. Material and method. The parameters of social networks were checked with Bizon's questionnaire. Treatment outcomes criteria were assessed with use of competent judges' method. The intensity of psychopathological symptoms was measured on the BPRS-LA scale. Results. A compound system of social support and a large social network, with a high level of support, correlate in a beneficial way with a higher subjective satisfaction with the treatment. A large extra-familial network, with a high level of support, correlates with a better insight into the illness. The larger somebody's social network, including the extra-familial network and the high level of incoming support, the fewer positive and negative symptoms they had, and the milder the course of their illness. A larger range of the network correlates with a smaller number of relapses and the total hospitalisation time. Those who have a large network that provides a high level of support, both in the family and outside it, have been less frequently hospitalised in outpatient care. No connection was found between the network's parameters and the number of inpatient hospitalisations. Conclusions. People with a large network, including the extra-familial network, who receive a high level of social support, function better in society, do not become regressive in their professional lives and there are fewer burdens in their family life. A high level of social support correlates with better family functioning. Families of people with schizophrenia who have a large extra-familial network with a high level of support experience less deterioration and disintegration, less criticism and rejection.